2. Can Bojan become a major contributor?
The Montreal Impact made a number of signings during the 2019 secondary transfer window, but their biggest splash was the free-agent acquisition of Bojan Krkic. The former Spanish prodigy notched 36 goals across 104 games as a teenager for La Liga giants Barcelona, but he has since been unable to live up to the same billing over the course of his career. Following his time at the Camp Nou, Bojan bounced around many of Europe’s top leagues, often showing flashes of brilliance but usually leaving more to be desired. Now, after getting some games under his belt in MLS, is it time for the former wonderkid to become a serious contributor?
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While he may never live up to his storied potential, Krkic has a glowing opportunity to become a go-to producer for the Impact as they enter their first leg matchup in the CCL. For one, he has become reunited with his former Barcelona teammate, Thierry Henry, as the French soccer legend takes the reins as the newly appointed head coach. Having played alongside Bojan while he was scoring regularly for Barcelona, Henry may know how to get the best out of him unlike any of his previous managers.
Bojan also has the opportunity to return to his natural position as a center-forward under Henry, a position that he hasn’t been able to play regularly in years past. Over the last few years, Bojan has been asked to play further away from goal, either playing out wide as a winger or by dropping deeper into the midfield to play as a number 10. While both of these positions suit Bojan’s skillset as a strong dribbler and passer, neither position has allowed him to bag the same number of goals as he did during his youth.
Based on recent preseason lineups, it appears that Henry will start Bojan in his more natural false-nine position. The positioning makes a lot of sense for the club. It allows Bojan to drop back and combine with the club’s pacey wingers, helps to link up the play from the midfield, thus not wasting his creative qualities, while still providing the former Barca product with the freedom to play on the shoulder of the defense.
The Impact have struggled to find production from the center-forward position since the days of Marco di Vaio and Didier Drogba, but if Henry can crack the code to unlock Bojan’s true potential, the striker could be the answer to the club’s looming goalscoring doubts.