Bartosz Bialkowski: One of the Best Polish Keepers to Grace England’s Football League

Over the years there have been plenty of talented Polish goalkeepers in the Premier League such as Lukasz Fabianski, Wojciech Szczesny, and Artur Boruc. These keepers are all household names among football fans because the Premier League is the most popular league in the world. However, when you drop down the leagues, you will find Polish keepers that nobody has really heard of and Bartosz Bialkowski is one of these. This article is going to take a closer look at his football career.

Started His Career in Poland

Bialkowski was born in Braniewo, Poland, in 1987 and he made his debut in the top division of Polish football in 2004 when he played in a 3-1 defeat to Dyskobolia Grodzisk for Górnik Zabrze. He was originally on the bench that day, but he took to the field when Piotr Lech was sent off after picking up a second booking. Over the course of two years, he went on to play just seven times, but that did not stop him from being scouted by Southampton.

Playing for Southampton

In January 2006, Bialkowski was signed by Southampton for an undisclosed fee. He made his debut two weeks later in a 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace. He then made his debut in the FA Cup three days later and helped his side to a 1-0 win over Leicester.

However, on the 18th of February 2006, he picked up a bad injury during an FA Cup game against Newcastle and had to sit out for the rest of the season as well as part of the next season. He returned to the Saints’ starting XI on 16th March 2007 as Kelvin Davis was suspended for three matches, and he put in a string of strong performances to keep his place. However, at the start of the 2007/08 season, he lost his place to Davis as Southampton started the season with a couple of poor results and struggled to regain it.

In 2009, he joined Ipswich on loan but did not make an appearance for them and then he joined Barnsley on an emergency loan for a week. He returned to Southampton, who were now playing League One football, and on the 24th of November he made his first appearance for the Saints in over two years when Kelvin Davis picked up an injury. He played the next six matches and was offered a contract extension in May 2010. However, he only made a couple more appearances for the club before he was released in 2012.

Southampton is a popular club among Polish football supporters due to the fact that they have had a number of Polish internationals play for them down the years. This includes the likes of Kamil Kosowski, Grzegorz Rasiak, Artur Boruc, Marek Saganowski, and Jan Bednarek.

Bednarek is currently still playing with the Saints, and he has helped them to 29 points from 17 games. There are probably quite a few Polish football fans that have placed a couple of Euros on the Saints to finish in the top four this season. The best that they can realistically hope for is probably a Europa League spot, but the Polish do like a gamble, especially when it comes to online casinos. Many like to use the winnings that they make at online casinos to place sport bets. When it comes to finding out all you need to know about the gambling scene in Poland to increase your chances of winning some money that you can use to bet on sports, www.kasynopolskaonline.com is the place to visit. Here you will find the best online casino players for Poles as well as useful information about strategies and games.

Notts County

In the summer of 2012, Bialkowski signed a three-year deal with Notts County and was named as their first-choice goalkeeper. He made an impressive start to his first season at the club and his manager, Keith Curle, described him as the best keeper in the division. In his first season with Notts, he played 40 matches and picked up 14 clean sheets. He made 44 appearances in his second season and his performances saw him earn a move to Ipswich Town.

Ipswich Town

He began his career at Ipswich with a clean sheet against Blackpool. He was the club’s first-choice keeper and helped them to reach the Championship Play-Offs, but he was left out of the team due to the death of his dad. During his first season at the club, he played 35 matches and kept 9 clean sheets. Dean Gerken then kept him out of the team, but when Gerken was injured during the 2015/2016 season, Bialkowski returned and put in several great performances to see him win the Player of the Month award twice in a row. He also picked up the Players’ Player of the Year award and the Supporters’ Player of the Year award. He made 23 appearances that season and kept 8 clean sheets. He also picked up the Player of the Year award for the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons, thanks to his 24 clean sheets in 90 matches.

However, the 2018/19 season was a disappointing one for him and he made a string of costly errors that led him to be dropped by Paul Hurst and then Paul Lambert.

Millwall

With him being deemed surplus to requirements at Ipswich, he moved to Millwall on loan in 2019. He made his debut for the club against Preston North End and picked up another clean sheet. He made 28 appearances for Millwall and the impressive performances that he put in for the Lions convinced them to make his deal permanent in January 2020. He played every league match for Millwall in his first season there and won the Golden Glove award after keeping 16 clean sheets – thanks to help from Murray Wallace and Kenneth Zohore in defence. He was also voted as the club’s Player of the Year.

International Career

Every footballer’s dream is to play for their country, and Bialkowski realised this dream when he played for Poland in a 1-0 friendly defeat to Nigeria on the 23rd of March of 2018. In 2018, he was part of Poland’s 23-man squad for the World Cup in Russia, but he did not make an appearance and Poland were eliminated at the group stage. He has only the one senior cap for his country, but it something that nobody can ever take away from him. 

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