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Albion Analytics: Kacper Kozlowski

By Liam Tharme • 07 January 2022

By Pogon Szczecin FC
Kacper Kozlowski will spend the second part of the campaign on loan with Royale Union Saint-Gilloise

Polish international Kacper Kozlowski is Albion’s first signing of the winter window. His arrival means that ten of the last 14 first team signings that Brighton have made have been players under the age of 24, evidence as to the youth-driven nature of the recruitment.

Despite his youth, Kozlowski has already accumulated a fair amount of experience – 40 top-flight Poland games with 11 goal involvements (4 goals, 7 assists). The six-cap international became the youngest player to ever feature at a European Championships this summer, and he made his international debut aged just 17 years, 5 months and 12 days in Poland’s 3-0 World Cup qualifying win last March against Andorra. In his 58 minutes at Euro 2020, he recorded 28 touches, completed 15/18 passes, pressed opponents 15 times, recorded eight dribbles plus progressive carries and received three progressive passes.

StatsBomb data has the teenager ranking inside the top 5% of Ekstraklasa midfielders this season for – per game – successful dribbles (2.6) and fouls won (also 2.6). He ranks inside the top 20% of the same sample for pressures (22.5), pressure regains (4.2), tackles (3.2) and xG assisted (0.14), evidence of his ability to add quality both in and out of possession. In terms of success rates, official Ekstraklasa data has the youngster hitting the target with 45% of shots, completing 74% of passes, winning 48% of challenges, completing 58% of dribbles and winning 59% of tackles.

Only three Pogon Szczecin players can better Kozlowski (5) for direct goal involvements this season, and he tops the club charts for dribbles per game (1.7). Wyscout data has it that Kozlowski, statistically, is most similar to Enock Mwepu out of any Brighton midfielder. Furthermore, the Pole’s technical output in terms of shots, successful dribbles and touches in the opposition box all comfortably exceed the Belgian top-flight average, where Kozlowski will spend the rest of the 2021/22 season on loan at leaders Union St Gilloise.

The midfielder particularly shines for his footwork in tight areas and is able to escape from situations even when outnumbered. His 85 dribbles, 49 of which are successful (official Ekstraklasa data – are the most of any Pogon player this season, and they rank him 11th in the league.

In terms of chance creation, he has had multiple assists (all competitions) from crosses during 2021 and is capable of delivering into dangerous areas from either flank or half-space (cutback), and with either foot – he attacks these well, too, having netted three one-touch finishes from crosses in 2021, including two headers. He is a diverse finisher, having also scored through dribbles, receiving penetrative passes in central areas and from rebounding shots.