When Cristiano Ronaldo joined Juventus last summer, most people assumed he would finish the season as Serie A’s top scorer. In the list of players predicted to challenge him for the title of Capocannoniere, Poland international Krzysztof Piatek didn’t even get a mention.
The rise of ‘Pistolero’
Piatek arrived in Italy just a few weeks before Ronaldo with little fanfare. He signed a four-year contract with Genoa for a fee of around €4m. The club from Liguria had been impressed by his two-year spell at Polish side Cracovia in which he scored 32 goals in 63 league starts.
He kicked off his career in Genoa with four goals in a Coppa Italia win over Lecce and suddenly everyone started to take notice. By the middle of January, the player dubbed ‘Pistolero’ had netted 19 times in 21 games for Genoa and the race for his signature was on.
With Gonzalo Higuaín shipped out to Chelsea, AC Milan wasted no time in parting with €35m for the 23-year-old’s services. The switch to such a huge club did not phase the striker, who continued where he left off, scoring five goals in his first five starts for Milan to take him to within one goal of Ronaldo.
From outside to 2nd favourite in the latest Seria A top goalscorer odds
Incredibly, Piatek’s name was not even quoted by many bookmakers in the pre-season betting markets for Serie A top scorer. But by October, following one the best ever starts to a debut Serie A season, prices of around 14/1 were being offered. Currently, he can still be backed at a reasonable 5/1 with Ronaldo odds-on at 1/4.
The fact Piatek kept pace with the five-time Ballon d’Or winner while playing for a mid-table side is remarkable and gives reason to believe he can increase his goal return now he is at a team challenging for the top four. That makes his current price look very tempting, and with plenty of betting offers for you to choose from, as well as promotions and free bets from leading bookmakers, finding a price of 5/1 or better should not be too hard.
Piatek is a goal scorer – creating opportunities for others has not been a feature of his game since arriving in Italy. He scores an average of 0.85 goals per 90 minutes compared to Ronaldo’s 0.80 and has a 93 % penalty conversion rate compared to 81% for the Portuguese player. However, Ronaldo has provided eight assists compared to the youngster’s total of zero. Of course, all that might change at Milan where Piatek has a stronger supporting cast, but the Milan faithful won’t worry about the lack of assists if he keeps keeps banging in the goals for the San Siro club.
One thing is for sure: the Player who was dropped from Poland’s World Cup squad last summer is currently scoring at a higher rate per minute than Ronaldo in only his first season in the Italian top flight, and he has shown no signs of slowing down. While it might seem crazy to bet against Ronaldo in favour of a debutant who was virtually unheard of a year ago – Krzysztof Piatek certainly makes a compelling case.