I have decided to start a thread based on IMScouting's Player's To Watch Section. Here you will find information, and where possible, videos on players that could be the next stars of European football. I will start way back in January of this year and post a new player each week, when IMScouting updates their site. Hope you enjoy!
01/01/09 - Robert Lewandowski
Team: Lech Poznan (Poland)
Shirt Number: 8
Secondary: Right forward, Left forward
Height: 1.83 m / 6 ft.
Weight: 79 kg / 173 lbs
Report: A Polish Goal Machine
At just 20-years-old, Polish football is bracing itself to see how the career of Robert Lewandowski progresses. In just a few years the Lech Poznan striker has established himself as the up and coming player in the eastern European country.
Lewandowski is a prolific striker, a "goal machine" with a great record of scoring goals, he is quick, has excellent shooting and finishing ability of the highest caliber. If he can improve his ball control, he could become one of the best target strikers in Europe.
Scouts in Poland claim the 20-year-old has all the ability to become a great player, showing little fear of the bigger stage he has bagged goals in the UEFA Cup and in World Cup qualification matches. Lewandowski, thanks to the guidance of Lech coach Franciszek Smuda, is becoming stronger and stronger and has illustrated a killer instinct and the ability to finish with both feet.
According to IMScouting, his estimated market value is 2.5 million euros, whilst he is undoubtedly a great talent he still has much to improve, although he is quite tall (181m) he scores very few goals with his head and this could be an important facet to his game.
Lewandowski was born in August 1988 in Warsaw and was in high demand as a youth player representing Partyzant Leszno, Varsovia Warszawa, Delta Warszawa and then Legia Warsaw II.
In season 2006-2007 he signed a professional contract with Znicz Pruszkow, a club which would have a major bearing on his career progression. In his first season at the club the young talent immediately made a name for himself, finishing as the top goal scorer in the Polish third division with 15 goals. Lewandowski was a significant factor in helping the club gain promotion.
During his second season with the club (2007/2008) Lewandowski again finished as the second division’s top goal scorer with 21 goals. As a result, in summer 2008, Robert Lewandowski was the hottest player in the Polish transfer market, with almost every top club trying to sign him, and even clubs such as Italian giants Lazio interested in securing his services.
After much speculation, Lewandowski chose Lech Poznan, who paid around 550,000 euros for the young striker, and coach Franciszek Smuda hailed the shooting, scoring ability as well as the acceleration of his new front man, and from the start of the 2008/2009 season it was clear why he was so highly rated. Lewandowski started scoring immediately for his new club (he bagged 12 goals up to the winter break), and adapted superbly to the pace and aggression of the Ekstraklasa.
Early on at Lech he appeared to have won a personal rivalry with veteran Piotr Reiss. The 36-year-old was forced down the pecking order as Lewandowski started in his place. However, the 20-year-old does not always start as Lech coach Franciszek Smuda prefers to play with one striker and often chooses Peru international Hernan Rengifo.
Despite his success at club level, Lewandowski has played only once for the Polish Under-21 national team, as a substitute in a friendly match against England in March 2008, but it didn't stop national team head coach Leo Beenhakker calling him up to the senior squad.
He made his debut for the national senior team on September 10, 2008 against San Marino, where he came on as a sub and scored one goal. Currently he has four caps and has claimed two goals for Poland.
When he played in the second division Boguslaw Kaczmarek compared him to Fernando Torres. Kaczmarek, a former assistant to Polish coach Leo Beenhakker, is famous in Poland because he discovered many talented players including Jerzy Dudek.
The hype surrounding Lewandowski is huge, the 20-year-old is undoubtedly talented but the whole of Poland will be hoping he can continue his rapid career progression and become one of the top strikers in Europe.