UPDATE: January 17th, 2024
Atlanta United announced the official transfer of Polish international midfielder Bartosz Slisz from Legia Warsaw with the player signed through the end of the 2028 season.
“Bartosz is an intelligent, defensive-minded midfielder who is capable of playing in different systems,” Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra said. “We feel he will complement our team well and help us solidify the middle of the field. At 24 years old he is mature beyond his years and has already played more than 250 professional matches. We’re pleased to attract a talented player at this stage of his career who is breaking into his national team.”
Slisz arrives in Atlanta with a wealth of experience at various levels of European competition for his club teams and for the Polish national team from the U-18 team to the senior squad. As Bocanegra shared in the press conference following the first open practice of the preseason, the club expects Slisz to be an intelligent midfield partner for Tristan Muymba and Thiago Almada who can shield the backline but also create his own space to receive and advance the ball in possession. When describing the profile of the midfielder he was looking for, Bocanegra talked about the role Chris Armas played for Chicago when the two were teammates on that squad.
The club has not yet released whether Slisz will be a Designated Player or will be bought down through the use of Allocation Money. Bocanegra described the decision on whether Saba Lobjanidze or Slisz would be the club’s third DP as being something they will finalize closer to the roster compliance deadline in February.
Welcome to Atlanta, Bartosz!
UPDATE: January 10th, 2024
Atlanta United may be close to signing their starting #6.
According to Tomasz Włodarczyk of Meczyki, Atlanta United is just one step away from securing a transfer for Bartosz Slisz. According to Włodarczyk, Atlanta United has agreed to a transfer of close to $3.5 million for what he describes as one of the most important players for Legia Warszawa.
Bartosz Slisz krok od Atlanta United! Legia Warszawa porozumiała się z klubem MLS ws. kwoty transferu, która wyniesie ok. 3,5 miliona dolarów.— Tomasz Włodarczyk (@wlodar85) January 10, 2024
Załatwiane są formalności: https://t.co/vaBv840bv6 pic.twitter.com/HHpAytAFML
Based on this report, the final formalities are all that remain with this transfer expected to take place this winter window.
According to a report by Polish outlet Meczyki, Atlanta United is one of two clubs that have submitted offers for Legia Warszawa defensive midfielder Bartosz Slisz.
The news was first broken by reputable Polish journalist and former soccer player Tomasz Włodarczyk who stated that Italian club Lecce is the other interested party. His report also mentioned that Atlanta went as far as to send representatives to watch his UEFA Europa Conference League matches.
Bartosz Slisz ma dwie konkretne oferty: Atlanta United i Lecce. Oferty wpłynęły już do Legii Warszawa. Scenariuszy tego transferu jest kilka.— Tomasz Włodarczyk (@wlodar85) December 28, 2023
The report states that the offers for the Polish international amount to about $2.2 million and that he is “ready to leave,” but that it is unknown if his current club would be willing to transfer him in the winter.
Slisz, 24, plays primarily as a defensive midfielder, but can also play as an eight. He has made 33 appearances for the Legionaries in 2023, recording one goal and three assists across all competitions.
The two-time Polish champion has earned six caps for the White and Red national team including one World Cup Qualifier in 2021, two friendlies and three Euro Qualifiers in 2023.
A quick analysis of his play reveals a player that, much like Tristan Muyumba, isn’t afraid to move forward and join the attack. He excels at short passing, which suggests that he would be a great fit for Atlanta’s style of build-up. When going forward, he skillfully finds spaces to occupy and has an eye for interesting passes.
Slisz can also run pretty fast and win aerial duels despite not being the tallest player.
What do you think of Slisz? Would you like to see him in the Five Stripes’ midfield in 2024? Let us know in the comments below.