Euro 2020 Spain vs Poland: Who is Jakub Moder and why the Brighton midfielder is key for Paulo Sousa
After a disappointing start to Euro 2020, Poland may need to turn to Jakub Molder if they are to change their fortunes against Spain tomorrow.
The Eagles suffered defeat toSlovakia and head coach Paulo Sousa’s hand may be forced into bringing the Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder into the starting XI, after Grzegorz Krychowiak’s red card during the second half in Russia.
The former West Bromwich Albion and Paris Saint Germain midfielder received his marching orders in the 62nd minute after picking up his second yellow card of the fixture.
Shortly after Krychowiak left the field of play, Milan Skirniar regained Slovakia’s lead after Karol Linetty had cancelled out Wojciech Szczesny’s own goal. Despite performing well for the
Seagull’s this season, the 22-year-old was introduced with only five minutes of regulation time remaining but made the most of his cameo appearance.
In the 88th minute it was his corner, which just eluded Poland star striker Robert Lewandowski and then somehow missed Kamil Glik, who was sliding in unmarked at the back post.
Moder also drove forward with purpose with a couple of late runs into Slovak territory. His impressive cameo display, coupled with the dismissal of Krychowiak, should be enough for Moder to claim his starting spot against Luis Enrique’s Spain.
Albion goalkeeper Robert Sanchez will likely be on the bench for the Spaniards as Enrique selected Athletic Bilbao stopper Unai Simon ahead of Manchester United’s David de Gea and Sanchez for their opening draw.
Moder rarely looked out of place in his first major tournament, and Albion may be the main beneficiaries if he is to gain a deserved run in the Poland team this summer.
After cutting his loan spell back at Lech Poznan short, the 22-year-old settled quickly within Graham Potter’s side and showed glimpses of his immense potential. Moder made 12 appearances across the back end of the Premier League season with seven of those coming from the starting XI.
His first start for the club came in the crucial 3-0 home victory against Newcastle United in March which prompted a significant run in the team for the Poland international.
Perhaps one of Moder’s most glistening performances came in the magical comeback against Manchester City at the Amex.
Moder maintained a passing accuracy percentage of 81 per cent while completing three successful dribbles as the Seagull’s overturned a two-goal deficit to beat the champions for the first time in the league since 1989.
Across his 12 league appearances this season, Moder proved his worth at both ends of the pitch by averaging 1.3 successful tackles per game, and 1.1 dribbles per game. The former
Lech Poznan midfielder also completes an average of 21.9 passes per game which makes him a prized asset in Potter’s possession-based style of play. What also comes as a small consolation for Albion is that they may potentially have a ready-made replacement for the in-demand Yves Bissouma, should the Mali international leave.
Due to his strong performances this season, Bissouma has gained admiration from clubs such as Liverpool and Arsenal who may produce offers too good for both player and club to turn down. As Moder flourishes in the areas of the pitch previously mentioned, while training and learning from Bissouma himself, the club may not need to look too far if they’re in need of a replacement for the 24-year-old.
Poland’s next two matches at the tournament that’s being hosted across Europe are potentially tricky tasks against Spain and Sweden, who played out a 0-0 draw in the second match of Group E, and Moder and his teammates will need to be at the top of their game if they are to qualify to the round-of-16.
It is expected that the 22-year-old will come into the side, but will face a tough personal battle against Spain’s accomplished and combative midfield.
However, if he can reach the level he’s already shown on the south coast this year, he’ll certainly gain more admirers outside of Sussex.