All you need to know about…Leeds United newboy Pawel Cibicki
Striker has impressed in his native Sweden
He may not be the most familiar name on these shores, but Leeds United have potentially pulled off one of the best deals of Transfer Deadline Day with the signing of Pawel Cibicki from Swedish side Malmo FF.
Here’s everything Whites fans need to know about their new signing…
Malmo experience stands him in good stead
For a player of just 23-years-old, the Swede has a wealth of experience under his belt. A league winner with Himmelsblat back in 2013, he’s also faced the likes of Juventus and Olympiacos in the Champions League – impressing in the process.
That title winning experience could prove vital this term, with Leeds likely to be promotion contenders in the Championship. And having played against some of Europe’s top clubs, he’s unlikely to be fazed by any challenge that greets him in England.
Having played well over 100 games for Malmo and fellow Allsvenskan side Jonkopings Sodra, he’s proven himself over a long period. Speaking of the latter club…
He needs to recapture 2016 form
While Cibicki has been okay for champions-elect Malmo this year, it’s likely the form he showed in 2016 which has most attracted Leeds boss Thomas Christiansen.
The youngster helped strugglers Jonkopings Sodra achieve top-tier survival during his year on loan in Smaland, netting nine times and assisting as many.
Cibicki is a player who thrives when he’s the focal point of a frontline, which never really happened at Malmo, but did at J-Sodra. With Leeds’ star man of last season Chris Wood having exited, Christiansen will be looking for a focal point to build his side around. Cibicki could be just that.
He’s got the talent, physicality is the issue
While his touch, distribution and finishing are all good enough to enable him to succeed at Elland Road, there are concerns over the player’s very slight build.
The Allsvenskan is hardly what you’d call a ‘physical’ league, but Cibicki still struggled to compete physically against the Allsvenskan’s more robust and imposing defences.
Christiansen’s first job has to be to build the striker into a stronger player, and one who won’t shirk the combative elements of Championship football. Do that, and the Yorkshire side have a serious talent on their hands.
Next up for Leeds United is a meeting with Burton Albion at Elland Road, with a Whites’ victory 8/15 with Coral.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing