Michał Skóraś: the exciting 23-year old Polish winger linked with Club Brugge – scout report
In what was a disappointing regular season for current Belgian Pro League champions Club Brugge, they still managed to qualify for the title playoffs on the last day of the regular season, putting them in contention to win another Belgian title. However, even if the club do the unlikely and win another title, there will definitely be squad turnover this summer. Two names being heavily linked with exits are both wingers, former Ajax youth product Noa Lang and Canadian international Tajon Buchanan, with the latter being a rumoured target of Inter Milan.
With that being said, Club Brugge have thought ahead, with the Belgian giants apparently close to completing the signing of Lech Poznań’s 23-year-old winger Michał Skóraś. So far with Lech this season, the Polish international has made 47 appearances across all competitions and has scored 15 goals.
This tactical analysis and scout report will take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the Polish winger, analyse how he compares to both Buchanan and Lang and how he would fit at the Belgian club.
The image above shows Skóraś’s heat map from both the Ekstraklasa and UEFA Europa Conference League from this season which illustrates his capability to play on both the left and right side of the attack. The 23-year-old prefers playing on the left as an inverted winger, allowing him to cut inside on his preferred right foot. However, as the heat map also shows, Skóraś does not just stay wide, he also will either drift inside during matches or start in these more inverted positions, allowing him to get on the ball in more central areas and drive at opposition defenders with the ball at his feet. The Polish international also has a very good work rate, with him tracking back to help in the defensive phases of play as well.
When describing Skóraś’s style of play, the winger is someone who likes the ball at his feet and is able to dribble past opposition defenders and make progressive runs into the penalty area. The comparison image below shows the heatmaps of both Skóraś and Lang this season in all competitions, with the Polish winger being more likely to take Lang’s position on the left wing if he were to join the club and the Dutch international were to depart.
As we can see from the heat map comparison above, while Lang has more prevalence on the left-hand side in the attack, Skóraś’s ability to also have an impact on the right-hand side gives him more flexibility from an attacking perspective.
The Polish winger also gets more involved with tracking back and helping out from a defensive perspective, something Lang does not always get involved with. Like Skóraś, Lang is also an inverted winger, with him playing on the left and cutting inside on his favoured right foot.
While both have similar player profiles and styles of play, if Lang and Buchanan were to depart, Skóraś could theoretically replace both of them with his ability to play on either wing.
Progressive runs and dribbling
One of the first strengths we will look at in Michał Skóraś’s style of play is his ability to take opposition defenders on with his dribbling, as well as progressive runs into and around the penalty area. In all competitions this season, the 23-year-old Polish international averages 5.1 dribbles per 90 minutes with a 57.5% success rate. Skóraś also averages 2.62 progressive runs per 90 minutes, with his 73 progressive runs in the 2022/23 Ekstraklasa season the 4th most in the league.
When comparing the progressive runs and dribbling of both Skóraś and Lang, we can see that while both like to take opposition defenders on 1v1, the Dutchman does it more frequently. While the 23-year-old will not necessarily have the same type of output that Noa Lang has as a dribbling winger, the Polish international is still a danger to opposition fullbacks when he is isolated 1v1 against them on the wing.
The image above shows an example of the dribbling ability of Michał Skóraś from a recent match in the Polish Ekstraklasa. After gathering possession in the wide channel, Skóraś drives inside centrally towards the penalty box, with both the opposition fullback and defensive midfielder forced to backpedal towards their own goal. The run of the overlapping fullback forces the opposition fullback to drop off and mark the advancing run, with this allowing the 23-year-old the ability to be 1v1 against the defensive midfielder.
A common theme with Skóraś is his tendency to wait for the opposition to pick a side before engaging with a dribble or progressive run, with this happening in the image above. The Polish winger keeps the opposition midfielder off balance and once he commits to the outside, Skóraś is able to cut inside and create the space to get a shot off on goal.
Another example of Michał Skóraś’s dribbling ability is shown in the image above. In a similar way to the first example, the Polish winger is able to find himself isolated 1v1 against the Fiorentina fullback. Skóraś again looks to use his close control and patience on the ball to keep the defender off balance. However, this time the 23-year-old is able to use a burst of acceleration to get around the fullback on the outside. After sending the ball past the Fiorentina defender, Skóraś is able to use a burst of acceleration to drive past and get back onto the loose ball.
Unfortunately, in this phase of play above, the defender is able to anticipate Skóraś’s movement and stay with the Polish winger. As a result, the fullback outmuscles the 23-year-old off the ball, winning possession back for Fiorentina as a result. One thing that could be considered a weakness in the Polish winger’s game is that he is not the most physical, with him relying on pace and trickery to get past opposition defenders in 1v1 situations. This image above is a good example of that, highlighting one potential area for improvement as he continues to develop.
This final image above shows another example of Skóraś using his above-average dribbling ability to get past the opposition defender. In the phase of play above, the Poland international is playing on the right wing, and he is forced to turn away from goal. As a result, the opposition fullback looks to engage and put pressure on Skóraś but gets too tight to the winger. This allows the 23-year-old the ability to turn and dribble past the defender before crossing the ball into the box from the wide area.
As this section has shown, while Michał Skóraś isn’t the strongest or most physical winger, his ability to dribble past defenders and make progressive runs make him a very exciting and tricky winger, especially if he jumps to the Belgian Pro League and Club Brugge.
Range of passing and ability to play progressive passes
Another trait that Skóraś possesses that will benefit Club Brugge massively if he joins the club is the Polish winger’s range of passing and ability to play progressive passes that break opposition defensive lines. This season in all competitions, Skóraś is averaging 30.22 passes per 90 minutes with a success rate of 77.7%.
The data viz graphic above illustrates the progressive passes that Michał Skóraś has played this season in both the Ekstraklasa and the Europa Conference League. Even though the Polish international normally plays as a winger, a lot of these passes into the penalty area occur from central areas of the pitch, with Skóraś known to drift inside centrally to receive the ball, almost playing as a number ’10’ in these attacking moments.
The image above shows an example of the vision that Michał Skóraś displays on the ball, as well as his ability to break opposition lines with progressive passes. In this phase of play in the Europa Conference League, the 23-year-old receives possession on the near touchline. After controlling possession, Skóraś drives inside centrally, making space to give him time on the ball. With the opposition defenders caught ball-watching, the Polish international is able to spot the movement of the striker making a run from deep in the vacated space behind the opposition’s defence. As a result, Skóraś is able to play a perfectly weighted pass into the path of the striker, with a great goal-scoring chance resulting from the Polish winger’s progressive pass into the penalty area.
The image above shows another example of this ability to break opposition lines on a consistent basis by Michał Skóraś. In this phase of play above from their recent Europa Conference League elimination against Fiorentina, the Polish international again received possession on the touchline and then drove inside into a central position. He spots the movement of the striker on the shoulder of the last defender and plays a line-breaking progressive pass into the space that the forward is running into behind the Fiorentina defence. Skóraś again was able to demonstrate his technical ability, with this pass able to break two opposition defensive lines.
If Club Brugge were to lose one or both of Noa Lang and Tajon Buchanan, the technical ability that Michał Skóraś were to bring would not result in a drop off in quality as the young Polish international is more than capable of replacing the progressive passing ability of either current Club Brugge winger.
Ability to strike a ball from distance
Another trait that Michał Skóraś would bring to Club Brugge is the ability to strike a ball from distance and get it on target. This is not necessarily something that Noa Lang has in his locker, with the Dutch attacker not the most prolific from this range.
The data viz graphics above compare the shots from both Skóraś and Lang this season, with the Polish winger taking plenty more from distance. The 23-year-old also is able to get his shots on target from distance more often, with him also scoring 3 of his 15 goals from outside the penalty box. In total, 15 of his 45 shots from outside the penalty area have been on target this season, equating to a 33.3% success rate from this range.
The image above shows an example of the ability of Michał Skóraś to strike a ball from distance. In this phase of play above, the Polish winger finds himself in a central position when the ball finds him from wide. With plenty of time and space due to the opposition not marking him, Skóraś is able to line his shot up and send it accurately into the bottom corner of the goal, past the diving goalkeeper.
The ability to strike a ball from this distance and put it accurately on target is not an easy feat for any attacking player to do and Skóraś is able to do it at an average of about one every three shots from outside the penalty area.
The image above shows another example of Michał Skóraś’s shooting ability from range, this time when put under pressure from opposition defenders. In the phase of play above, the Polish international used his dribbling ability to drive again into a central position. He was able to dribble past the first line of pressure before being put under immediate pressure by the opposition centre-backs, who stepped out to engage Skóraś. Even with that pressure, Skóraś was able to get a shot off, with it being pinpoint and accurate past the goalkeeper and into the bottom corner.
From a goal-scoring perspective, Michał Skóraś would bring this to Club Brugge, with his 15 goals in all competitions for Lech Poznań one of the highest totals for the squad. From a scoring standpoint, the 23-year-old Polish international winger would be a huge addition to the current Belgian champion’s squad for next season, regardless of the outgoings in the transfer market for the club in the summer.
As this tactical analysis has shown, Michał Skóraś would be a huge addition to Club Brugge’s squad, especially with Noa Lang being linked with AC Milan, among other clubs, and the possible departure of Tajon Buchanan in the summer as well.
With Club Brugge not yet having a permanent boss in place, how he would fit into the tactics of whichever manager they bring in is another question, one that would not be answered until pre-season at the earliest. However, with that being said, the signing of Michał Skóraś would be a huge addition to Club Brugge.