Kacper Przybylko never played much of a role for 1. FC Köln, and now it seems he never shall with reports that the lanky Polish striker is transferring to SpVgg Greuther Fürth, signing a deal with his new club that extends into 2017.
“Pritsche” was already struggling to find playing time in the squad before the arrival of Patrick Helmes last summer. At just 21-years-old, it’s too early to know what he will become, but whatever it is, it’ll be better for having more playing time. Such thoughts led to a loan to Arminia Bielefeld for the 2014 portion of the season just ended, where he scored four times in 22 league matches.
His biggest moment in Bielefeld, though, seemed to come late in the second leg of the relegation battle with SV Darmstadt. Arminia had blown a 1:3 first-leg advantage by the end of regulation, forcing extra time. Twenty minutes into the extension of play, Przybylko put the home side ahead for what would have saved the club from taking the drop, except that the ability to surrender goals that haunted the side all season made one final late appearance, giving Darmstadt a 2:4 lead late and the away-goals advantage to take Arminia’s spot in the 2.Bundesliga.
Pritsche had a few big moments for the Effzeh, too, though never quite as dramatic as what happened a few weeks ago. His goal against SC Paderborn on match day three was an extra-time equalizer, and his loan goal for the club last season was an extra-time game-winner, breaking a scoreless deadlock against VfR Aalen.
So, to me, it’s clear Pritsche has something to offer, but with under 600 minutes in the last 1.5 seasons with the Billy Goat on the chest, I think it was fair to let him find playing time elsewhere . . . even if our ability to threaten in the air on free kicks remains far too questionable. The fact is, Przybylko wasn’t going to be a regular for a Bundesliga side just yet.
It will be interesting to see how he fits with Fürth. He is similar in build to Ilir Azemi, the man who emerged at Fürth’s greatest scoring threat. SpVgg club president Helmut Hack specifically referred to the similarities, saying his new acquisition is a “large, robust, and ball-secure striker.” Though, speaking of Pritsche providing Fürth with “more options in attack” would seem to allude to the potential for him to play alongside Azemi, rather than replace him.
Azemi’s contract is set to expire next summer, and rumors of his being pursued by Bundesliga sides are heating up. If Pritsche was acquired with an eye toward even eventually replacing Azemi, they could have done much worse, even though Pritsche has yet to show he’s quite as adept at scoring in the air as did Azemi in the second half of the season.
Then again, even by the last winter break, Azemi had been a non-factor for Fürth.
As usual, we will have to see.
But, for now, it’s time to thank Przybylko for a few thrilling moments while trying to break into the team. We’ve certainly seen some players contribute less with much more playing time, so we shall be grateful for having had him around and wish him the best of luck as he continues his career elsewhere.