In my opinion Poland is an undervalued league which is worth monitoring for young players, as I explained in this article: Where to Scout in Europe.
Robert Gumny is a Polish U21 international who has been a name I’ve heard a lot over the past few seasons and I’ve finally got round to properly watching. He’s recently been strongly linked with Celtic and was also linked with Fiorentina. Two years ago he apparently failed a deadline day medical with Borussia Monchengladbach and was said to have Premier League clubs interested. He recently signed a new contract until 2023 and has been out injured for a while but is coming back to fitness now.
Physically, Gumny has an average build and is 5’10”. He’s strong with good aggression and isn’t afraid of collisions and put his body into attackers well. Although he got 4 yellows in his 16 league appearances this season and fouls quite often and lacks subtlety in his professional fouls.
He could be stronger on the ball though at times and could improve his balance. He’s light on his feet with good pace over distance, although he’s quite upright when he runs. He has good changes of direction and deceleration but isn’t the most explosive and could improve his burst of pace over a few metres.
His passing is done with good technique but could make better decisions at times. He wants to go forwards which is good but sometime tries passes where the lane is blocked and loses possession. He makes 9.1 progressive passes (all stats are per 90) which is decent but not great. He makes 2.0 passes into the box and 4.4 passes into the final third.
Gumny is excellent at playing out of the press through playing 1–2s, linking with his winger and making support runs. He would pass back to his centre half when needed and didn’t try to take on pressers. He has a great playing relationship Kamil Jóźwiak (21), who is another good young prospect. They are the same age and have been at Lech Poznan for a long time so have likely grown up playing together so have great chemistry. This benefits Lech Poznan in buildup where Jóźwiak is allowed to drop and support, as well as in the final third where they have good link up play and work together very well.
Gumny might be best suited to a team where the right sided midfielder is allowed to drop fairly deep and stay wide rather than staying in the opposition’s defensive line. So playing in a 4-4-2 or a 4–2–3–1 like in Poland would suit him far better than a 4–3–3 or a 3 at the back formation. In one game I watched, Jóźwiak started on the left and Gumny struggled to have the same influence with the winger on his side and got frustrated at times. Jóźwiak was moved back to the right and Gumny was more dangerous. This might mean that it could take him time to adapt to a new team and form a relationship with his winger.
In the buildup phase he takes progressive touches and always looks down the line to link with the right winger. He uses feints to create space from his pressing player and although he’s quite right footed he can shift the ball and pass with his left is necessary. As the winger dropped, if the full back followed the 10 would then to run into the wide space and Gumny played some decent throughballs to put him behind the line. He rarely found the central midfielders and wanted to play forwards, if nothing was on he’d go back to his centre half to recycle the ball.
In the final third he links with his winger well, looking to make under or overlapping runs. He’d position himself in the half space or in the touchline depending on the positioning of his winger. He’s good at getting to the byline but the defender is usually too tight and he comes away with a corner. He also creates space with his support runs really well. He doesn’t make that many crosses or get enough assists and needs better end product. He attempts 3.1 crosses, completing 33% of them and created 0.5 chances. However, I did see him create some big chances which weren’t finished. He produced some good passes into the box, balls over the top as well as decent quality curled crosses but needs to produce these more often so he can become more dangerous.
If there is space in front of him he’ll look to carry the ball and can travel at good speed, making 2,0 progressive runs per 90. But, doesn’t tend to take on players. In the final third he doesn’t produce that many crosses and improving 1v1 to create space would improve this. He’s calm on the ball and does well under pressure in midfield but could be more effective in the final third.
Defensively he’s fairly solid, he stays on his feet and uses his body well. He’s brave and does well in challenges and collisions, winning 61% of his defensive challenges. He lunges in at times but these were pretty well judged although his tackling technique could be improved. He’s fairly decent in the air and could have a better leap. He has quick feet and is agile but could improve his body position at times defensively and be more side-on. He showed decent awareness and communication with his teammates in defence. His defensive positioning was mostly good and pressed out well but he looked a little lost at times when he needed to retake his position in the back line, unsure whether to drop or follow the ball. His recovery runs were also good and he maintained a strong work rate. He showed good anticipation as well to push out of the line and try to cut out passes.
Gumny is an exciting well rounded full back who looks ready to make the step up. He works hard, is physical and does the basics well, especially with his support runs and linking with his winger. He does well in the final third and gets into the box quite a bit but needs to produce more assists and have a better final ball.
But, his injury record is going to be a major issue for clubs interested. He failed a medical two years ago and recently had knee surgery. There are worries that such a promising player might not reach his potential. I hope he does though as he could a very solid full back.
Jakub Kaminski (17) is a Polish U19 international left winger who Lech Poznan have used a few times at right back to replace Gumny and has apparently impressed so could be one to watch soon as well.