If you are interested in the Polish National Team at all, the name Adam Buksa appears in the recent write-ups from a lot of fans and pundits. At the end of 2019, he was acquired for the Revs from the Polish Ekstraklasa team Pogon Szczecin. Since then, he has had a rollercoaster of form across 2020. Even with poor form, Adam was called up in 2020 to Poland’s UEFA Nations League games in September of last year. Before that possible call-up, which ended up being denied by MLS, he scored only two goals in nine matches.
So if he was a possible call-up that year when he was off-form, now is an even better time for it. Especially being involved in the World Cup Qualifiers for UEFA.
First, A Look At His Competition
The most recent team that played for Poland’s head coach Paulo Sousa included some great strikers. One of the included strikers is 2020 FIFA Best Men’s player Robert Lewandowski. The other strikers on that squad include Dawid Kownacki, Arkadiusz Milik, Karol Świderski, and Jakub Świerczok. Those players play consistently on teams in Bundesliga.2, Ligue 1, Greek Super League, and the Polish Ekstraklasa. As well, Krzysztof Piątek in the Bundesliga is a strong choice, although he has been injured since May.
Looking to two separate league rankings (Kick Algorithms, Global Football Rankings), Major League Soccer rates in top 20 leagues worldwide. Among the leagues that those four players star in, only Ligue 1 tops Major League Soccer by a long shot. On KA, MLS rates higher than the GSL, Ekstraklasa and Bundesliga.2. Therefore, we can know that at least Lewandowski and Milik are mainstays. To help Milik’s claim, he scored nine goals in 15 matches in Ligue 1. Let us look at the rest of the players.
Kownacki, Świderski, and Świerczok are among some of the best in Europe for Poland. Looking to Jakub’s stay in Poland, he scores at a rate of 0.64 goals per 90 minutes in the run of play. A few of his goals were penalty kicks. Piast Gliwice and the Ekstraklasa have been good to him, where he scored 15 total goals and added three assists. As well, Świerczok helped his team at the end of 2020 move on in the Europa League where he scored a goal against Dinamo Minsk.
Karol Świderski enjoys his play in the Greek Super League with PAOK. His current rate of scoring is 0.53 per 90 minutes. As well, Karol adds 0.29 assists per 90. He starred in 300 minutes between Europa League and Champions League last year but did not find the back of the net for his team. Świderski scored 11 goals in the GSL season, adding five assists alongside that prolific season.
Dawid Kownacki is the least prolific of the bunch. For Dusseldorf in the 2020/2021 season, he put the ball in the bag at a rate of 0.45 goals per 90 minutes. In terms of being important to his team, Dawid’s assists per 90 were more important at 0.32. He assisted five goals for his teammates in Bundesliga.2. Creating run-of-play scoring chances was not his forte. Three out of the seven total goals he scored came from the penalty spot.
Adam Buksa, The Dangerous and Prolific
Trust me, we all know Adam didn’t live up to the hype in his first year with the New England Revolution. No, I’m not going to go through excuses of why that may have been. One season does not make a man. As well, throughout, his coach believed in his ability and has instilled great confidence. As most #NERevs Twitter regulars say, “Adam is not frustrated”.
In between 2020 and 2021 thus far, Adam Buksa has piled up 15 goals and two assists. Last year, he helped the team achieve in the First Round of the playoffs with a goal against Philadelphia. This year, he’s an integral part of grinding out important wins. Thus far in 2021, Buksa brings a dangerous attack on the goal. He’s scored eight goals already this season, while his on-target shot count is in the top 10 of the league.
On top of his scoring prowess this year, Adam’s aerial ability is league-leading. The Polish striker won the ball in the air a total of 73 times already this year. Being that strong in the air, allows him to create from headers as well.
Only Up From Here
Buksa’s only major folly currently is his inability to outperform his expected goals. He gets upper-class chances due to the Carles Gil phenomenon and some well-crafted crosses from the outside backs. Adam is performing past the level of Kownacki and Świderski. If he can start to find the back of the net more than he finds the post, he’ll cement a spot in the Poland National Team. His confidence will only grow as a 25-year-old player getting time training with strikers such as Milik and Lewandowski.
His hold-up play can help a National Team that in recent games has been unable to beat higher-ranked teams. They currently hold the fourth position in the UEFA World Cup Qualification Group I. They’ve won one game, lost one game, and tied one game. Adam will earn a spot if allowed playing time. With a head coach that believes in Buksa like his coach at the club level does, he only seems like he continues climbing the ladder.
Just yesterday, Adam answered a question from Seth Macomber of The Bent Musket about the rumor that he’s heading to qualifiers and the possibility that he will join the team. “I have heard the rumors, I don’t want to speak about it until it is official…If I get the call-up, I will go to Poland.” Buksa also mentioned it’s likely that he will find out more in the upcoming week. For me, I hope his name is an important one on that roster.