As the transfer deadline drew nearer last night, we soon realised that we weren’t going to sign anyone else apart from Libor Kozak, a striker from Lazio in Serie A.
When I first heard of the signing I was a tad confused. I didn’t know the player well and the only information I had was that he is a striker who stands tall at 6 ft 4 in. As I looked through links on Twitter, some facts about the 24-year-old started filtering in. He was the top scorer in Europa League last season, bagging 10 goals throughout the tournament, which is a very impressive feat.
What was disappointing to learn though was that he made at least fourteen appearances for Lazio last season and scored no goals in that time. Now I know some strikers do go through ‘dry spells’ during the season but fourteen or more games without a goal seems quite poor for a striker in Serie A. Fortunately, I also read that most of those appearances were from the bench, which explains why he didn’t get many goals in the league.
I also went on YouTube to see him in action, and found this video:
The video doesn’t really show him a brilliant light. He scored a few decent goals, most of which were tap-ins. It is fair to say that this signing really didn’t make sense to me. We signed Helenius, another tall striker, just a month ago and it seemed to me that there were other areas on the pitch which needed strengthening because up front we were in very good shape with Benteke, Agbonlahor, Weimann, Helenius and Bowery.
I honestly thought that Lambert was going to sign a playmaker, someone in the mould of Coutinho. We were linked with a few players like Kiyotake, Boudebouz and even Tom Ince, all of whom are the type of players who could pick up the ball from midfield and run at defenders or lace a through ball to the strikers. It was evident that we needed a player like that in our last home game against Liverpool because we struggled to break them down.
When we play away, we hit teams on the counter-attack and we do it very well. That’s when we play 4-5-1 when we’re defending and 4-3-3 when we’re attacking. At home, though, it’s a very different story. As the home team, we’re expected to dictate the play and make the opposition press us. This was the whole reason why I, and a lot of fans, thought we needed someone to play in the ‘number 10’ position.
At the end of the day, we are just fans. The only opinion that matters in this situation is Paul Lambert’s opinion. If he feels we don’t need that type of player in the squad at this moment in time then I’m going to trust him. His other signings haven’t turned out to be all that bad, have they?
Maybe he’s going to play 4-4-2 at home. Maybe Kozak was bought to be Benteke’s replacement if/when he leaves next year. Maybe he saw that Benteke wasn’t applying himself enough and decided to bring someone in to keep him on his toes. Maybe finances played a part and we couldn’t afford two more players.
There are so many questions but only time will reveal answers.
Anyway, do you think we need a ‘number 10’ type player or will we be okay without one?
In Lambert we trust. UTV!