Scout Report of Bolton Wanderers’ new signing Pawel Olkowski
Bolton Wanderers have signed Poland international defender Pawel Olkowski on a two-year deal. The right-back joins the Trotters after leaving German side Cologne. But who is Olkowski and what can he bring to the Macron Stadium? Let’s take a look!
The 28-year-old was born in the small town of Ozimek but started his senior career at Gwarek Zabrze, a club that focuses mainly on youth development. In the summer of 2010, he was sent on loan to Katowice, where he excelled and secured himself a deal at Gornik Zabrze.
While he was defending the colours of this team, he earned his first cap for the Polish senior national team, having represented his country at U19 and U21 levels before. All in all, he made 88 appearances for Gornik, scoring 3 goals and providing 13 assists in the top-flight.
After his contract expired in 2014, he joined German side Cologne on a free transfer. Until last campaign, things were going relatively smoothly for him in the Bundesliga. But last term was a nightmare for the team, as it failed to win any of its first 17 games.
Olkowski and his teammates suffered relegation but what was even worse for the Pole was that he barely spent any time on the pitch. The defender took part in just 5 matches in the league, the last of which was against Bayern Munich on 13th December. Olkowski was demoted to the reserves and even though he played in five of the six games that Cologne played in the Europa League, he was a forgotten man during the second half of the season.
Taking a closer look at the current Bolton setup, Olkowski becomes the third right-back in the squad. However, if Stephen Derby leaves, it means Phil Parkinson has to choose between Pawel and Mark Little in the starting XI. The Polish international, having played in the Bundesliga and for his national side, seems like the favourite for the early stages of the campaign.
He’s an interesting prospect for Bolton, bringing in lots of experience and hunger to reboot his career. Olkowski is a fast, energetic right-back, who likes making forward runs and can be a danger to the opposition. He has a point to prove and seems like a good deal for the Trotters. The Pole will bring the defensive stability they were lacking last term, and can also chip in with some important assists.