European Under-21 Championship: One to watch - Tomáš Pekhart
Name: Tomáš Pekhart
Club/Nation: FK Baumit Jablonec/Czech Republic
Former Tottenham youth product Pekhart now plies his trade for FK Baumit Jablonec who came third in the Czech top flight this term. A feat helped considerably by Pekhart’s 18 goals in 24 games which left him second in the golden boot stakes. Pekhart scored freely for the Spurs academy side with 19 in 20 in his first season but injury hampered his chances of taking these performances to the next level, with his usually prolific rate slowing for the reserves and never making a senior appearance for the club.
He was soon loaned out to Southampton, then in the Championship, but only managed one goal in nine games before going to Slavia Prague for a season long loan, again struggling with only two goals in 13 appearances. Pekhart then moved back to the Czech Republic on a three and a half year deal for an undisclosed fee and has since vastly improved his scoring record, including 7 in 9 on a loan trip to league runners up Sparta Prague.
Pekhart has represented his nation at every youth level with one cap at senior level to his name. He is the Czech U-21 record goal scorer with 16 goals in 22 appearances and his side will hope that he can lead the line effectively in Denmark and find the net to put his side in contention for the trophy.
Pekhart is a tall front man, standing 6ft 2in, but is also an astute finisher, not afraid of waiting for the keeper to make his move before picking his spot. Naturally powerful in the air considering his height, Pekhart is a certified goal poacher, latching onto crosses or reading the play to be in the right place at the right time, the vast majority of his goals coming from inside the six yard box. Able to score with his head or either foot Pekhart attacks the ball from crosses, timing his runs effectively to get across the front post, beating his defender to the ball and glancing home.
Pekhart will need the right service if we are to see the best of the tall front man in this competition but if the Czech Republic are to pose a threat in this competition they will need to service their top goal scorer, and regularly.