Change Coming to Polish Ekstraklasa?
Now that the football season is over, it is time to start a short but swift “silly season”; the period which decides who will be where during next season. In Poland, the main focus will be on the top three, who will also have European responsibilities on the 2009/2010 calendar.
First, there are champions Wisła Kraków. After having celebrated the twelfth title in their league history, a nasty bill was presented by what a year ago seemed their top buy. Andrzej Niedzielan was hailed as the new hero last year. Together with Paweł Brożek he would provide the necessary goals for Wisła, but in the end Wisła fans only saw him in action for eight minutes. However, the expensive player did receive his championship fee. Niedzielan therefore has cost Wisła 400,000 złoty.
It is no surprise that he will be allowed to leave the club. The same goes for Marcin Baszczynski, Marek Zienczuk, Beto and Mauro Cantoro. If good biddings come in, the club is open to discuss the leaving of Wojciech Łobodzinski and Tomasz Dawidowski. Yet, under no circumstances will Wisła negotiate about Marcelo and Radosław Sobolewski. However, the squad needs strengthening if it is to survive two rounds of Champions League qualifications. Łukasz Garguła is set to join Wisła.
Another player desired by both Wisła and Lech Poznań is Dawid Nowak. Both Nowak and Garguła are currently midfielders playing at GKS Bełchatów. Lech, which is starting in the new Europa League this season, would like to see star player Robert Lewandowski stay, although Mediterranean teams have already shown interest in the young Polish striker. The same goes for Brazilian striker Renfigo.
Lech lost its successful coach Franciszek Smuda and will be led next season by Jacek Zieliński. The 48-year-old was once trainer of Dyskobolia Grodzisk Groclin Wielkopolski, a team that later on merged with Lech Poznań. He will be assisted by club icon and former top striker Andrzej Juskowiak and Piotr Weiss, who was a striker at Lech up to this point.
Legia Warsaw has decided to downsize the squad. One of the players most likely to leave the team is star player Roger. His CV has been sent to Greek teams Olympiakos and Panathinaikos, yet Roger has expressed a desire to play in a Western European country such as Germany, France or Holland. Dutch sides FC Utrecht and Feyenoord (where Polish head coach Leo Beenhakker is also the technical advisor) are interested and his price isn’t the biggest obstacle (probably only a quarter of a million euro). Yet, his salary will be a problem to many, including the earlier mentioned Dutch sides.
Legia is prepared to sell any player apart from goalie Jan Mucha, striker Takersure Chinyama, defenders Dickson Choto and Inaki Astiz and centre midfielder Maciej Iwański, all of whom the club refers to as “indispensable” and “the skeleton or framework of next season’s squad” according to the words of chairman Leszek Miklas.
See also: Krakow Laughs, Krakow Cries as Wisła Takes Championship