A Pole with Premier League potential appeared out of nowhere

Jakub Stolarczyk is collecting valuable minutes between the sticks for Leicester City. When he gets a chance, he usually doesn’t disappoint. Local journalists are convinced that the Pole is systematically developing and has the predispositions to play at the highest level.

At one point, the club focused on Polish players, but fans at the King Power Stadium have mixed feelings about them. The first to join the team was Marcin Wasilewski, who made a small contribution to the sensational championship in the 2015/16 season. Later, however, the transfer of Bartosz Kapustka turned out to be a complete failure.

A few months after Kapustka’s arrival, the team was joined by a player from Piast Chęcina, who was then playing in Class A. It was a big surprise that Leicester City  chose a player from this level of the league. Jakub Stolarczyk has been trusted a lot, which is best evidenced by the fact that he has a valid contract until the end of June 2026.

After short stints in Dunfermline, Fleetwood and Hartlepool, the goalkeeper began to build a position in the senior “Foxes” team. Paradoxically, the breakthrough in his career came when Leicester was relegated from the Premier League and Enzo Maresca took over as manager . Stolarczyk managed to impress fans not only on the pitch, but also off it.

The promise is good

– He’s come a long way since he first came to England, learning to speak English and settling into a different culture. We have seen huge migration to the UK over the last few years – I think it is now 1.5 million asylum seekers in two years – and outside London, Leicester has received one of the highest numbers of new arrivals. As part of the club’s local program, Jakub met with a group of migrants to share his experiences of moving to a new country and having to learn the language and culture while feeling homesick. This shows great maturity – noted our interlocutor Rob Tanner from “The Athletic”.

Although Stolarczyk is currently losing the competition with Mads Hermansen, he cannot complain about the lack of chances. This season he has already played six matches on all fronts and kept four clean sheets. The effectiveness of the former Polish youth representative is admirable.

He deserved special attention during the FA Cup match against Birmingham City. It is telling that in the fourth round of the competition, Leicester won 3-0, and Stolarczyk received the MVP award. The talented goalkeeper made several great saves. The compilations of his moves were very impressive.

– It was a very good performance that confirmed the Leicester fans’ belief that they have two very good goalkeepers. This probably influenced the decision to loan out Daniel Iversen because they knew Jakub could play at this level. Jakub’s performance in the first half, when Leicester was not in the best form due to 10 changes in the lineup, was crucial for the final result, he added.

The local journalist couldn’t praise him enough. – If it weren’t for Jakub, Leicester would have lost at half-time in the match against Birmingham. He made three or four great saves and was also off the line well before Leicester took the lead. He was deservedly voted man of the match. This is a good omen for the future, especially since this season he joined Leicester’s squad under Enzo Maresca. Thanks to his performances in other cup matches, as well as against Birmingham, he has established himself as second choice, behind Hermansen – Amie Wilson told us.

“He appeared out of nowhere”

Hermansen was brought in from Broendby for seven million euros and the Dane should be expected to be first in the hierarchy. Stolarczyk has already dealt with the more experienced Danny Ward and has been reliable so far. Does he have a chance to play regularly in league games?

– I think it will be difficult to replace Mads Hermansen as the number one goalkeeper. Enzo Maresca considers Mads to be the most important signing he made last summer because of the way the goalkeeper played as an eleventh outfield player. Hermansen often stands outside his penalty area with the center backs who play out from the back. However, Jakub is definitely number two at the moment, well ahead of Danny Ward, who does not seem to have any future at the club at the moment – said Rob Tanner.

At the moment, it’s hard to fault Stolarczyk. “His development would be really rewarding for the people at the club. He has come out of nowhere this season, with Maresca promoting him over both Danny Ward and Daniel Iversen, who played in the Premier League for Leicester last season. While the club will be hoping Hermansen stays with the team for the long haul, they know they have a reliable backup in Stolarczyk, who has so far proven to be more than capable of the role. If Hermansen leaves in a few years, there may be an option to take over the role of number one, predicts Amie Wilson.

Leicester is definitely ahead of The Championship and all signs indicate that they will return to the elite very quickly. If Stolarczyk continues to develop at this pace, it cannot be ruled out that he will get a chance in the richest league in the world. The Polish national team would also gain another top-class goalkeeper.

“He has definitely proven he has the potential to play in the Premier League. He is currently number two, but Hermansen’s performances may attract interest from larger clubs. He is still young and gaining experience. He needs to continue to work and dedicate himself to learning how to play the way Maresca wants his goalkeepers to play, but he has certainly moved ahead of Ward and Iversen, so he has taken a huge step in his career. The question is, can he now take the next step? His performance against Birmingham showed that even if he fails to displace Hermansen, at some stage he will be able to move to another club where he will play more, Tanner said.

On Tuesday, Stolarczyk will be in goal for the Foxes again. At. 20:30 Leicester City will play away against AFC Bournemouth in the FA Cup. In the two previous rounds with a Pole in goal, Mareska’s team defeated Millwall FC (3:2) and Birmingham City (3:0).