Who Is This 22-year Old Polish Star Liverpool Are Chasing?

Piotr Zielinski is a Polish attacking midfielder who plays for Serie A club Udinese. Zielinski was on loan at Empoli for two seasons where he developed into a regular international for Adam Nawalka’s Poland side. Zielinski has emerged as Jurgen Klopp’s key target for Liverpool in the transfer market this season, with the Poland international linked with Liverpool throughout 2016.

The 22-year-old has recently returned to Udinese after spending two very good seasons as a loanee at fellow Serie A club Empoli. Zielinski joined Udinese in 2011 after a four year spell at Zaglebie Lubin. The youngster progressed through the youth system and made his debut for the Italian club 18 months later, replacing Antonio Di Natale in stoppage time in a 4-1 win over Cagliari. He made his full Serie A debut for the club 4 months later, and ended with 2 assists to his name in a 3-0 away win to Parma.

After not getting proper game time during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons, he joined Empoli on a temporary 2 year deal and has developed well with regular first team football for the Italian club.

Zielinski is a mobile, box-to-box midfielder and played at the  right flank in Empoli’s three man midfield. Zielinski played in the midfield alongside AS Roma loanee Leandro Paredes and Daniele Croce, with Paredes operating as the holding midfielder between Zielinski and Croce. The attacking midfielders were tasked with pushing forward and supporting their playmaker Riccardo Saponara.

The role was tailor-made for Zielinski as he was pacey and was good at making slick one-touch passes. In Liverpool, Coutinho, Firmino and Lallana are known for their quick one-touch passes and Zielinski would fit in perfectly in Liverpool’s 4-2-3-1 formation. Also, he carries momentum with diving runs into the penalty area, drawing defenders towards himself and playing killer passes. This adds pressure on the defenses and suits Klopp’s style of play.

Zielinski scored 5 goals and provided 6 assists in the whole of last season. These numbers do not suggest the talent and quality that Zielinski possesses. He is exceptional with his runs and killer passes. Also, Liverpool have signed Marko Grujic which shows that Klopp wants to add more attacking midfielders to his squad. The only thing that Klopp would want Zielinski to improve upon is his defending aspect of the game. Also, Zelinski’s age is perfect as Klopp looks for youngsters who will develop at Liverpool and lead the club to glory. Signing for Liverpool would provide Zielinski a chance of playing under the former Dortmund head coach and would develop a lot.

The progress of talks between Liverpool, Udinese and Zielinski is still unclear, but if Klopp can acquire Zielinski, it will be a great signing for Liverpool.

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Written by Harsh Vaidya

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