Csaba Laszlo’s tenure at Dundee United was largely unsuccessful. However, one pleasing aspect that Arabs can thank the Hungarian for was the signing of Pavol Šafranko.
With a playoff semi-final to come for Robbie Neilson’s Tangerines, they wouldn’t be there had it not been for the Slovakian’s goals.
What a discovery
On loan from Danish club Aalborg Boldspilklub (Aalborg BK/AaB), the 24-year-old has been quite the hit in the city of discovery. United have scored 49 goals in their 36 Championship games and Šafranko has nearly a quarter of them (12).
Only three players have scored more in Scotland’s second tier. Lawrence Shankland, Stephen Dobbie and Billy Mckay are the strikers in question. Šafranko is joined by another loanee on 12 in the form of Falkirk’s Zak Rudden, on loan from Rangers.
Having been linked with the other half of the New Firm in Aberdeen, perhaps Hibernian would be a better fit for the Slovak. The Championship POTY nominee may be tempted by a move to Edinburgh, particularly if Marc McNulty doesn’t rejoin the club.
A loanee himself from Reading, his Royals future appears unclear. Whether Paul Heckingbottom sees either as the new Hibees number nine or not, we don’t know. But Hibs are bound to be after a new goalscorer if the Scottish striker doesn’t make his stay in the capital a permanent one.
Step up for Šafranko
In recent years, there have been plenty of strikers that have coped with grabbing goals in the top tier having done so for their teams in the second.
Hearts had Šafranko’s teammate Osman Sow before he was sold to Henan Jianye for an alleged £1.5 million. Rangers had Martyn Waghorn before he was sold onto Ipswich and is now at Frank Lampard’s Derby having signed for £9 million.
The Hibees themselves had Jason Cummings who was sold on to Nottingham Forest. He’s now looking to get back on track after a few loan spells from the City Ground.
That shouldn’t put Šafranko off. Yes, grabbing goals is the trickiest thing in the game to do. But it shouldn’t matter what level Šafranko is at for him to prove a success whether it be for United, Aberdeen, Hibs or whoever.