You read that headline right. The Chicago Fire are trying to bolster the squad again with another massive European player— this time a legend from the other big German club. Jakub Błaszczykowski, affectionately known to fans as “Kuba,” has captained Poland on multiple occasions and has led Bundesliga juggernauts Borussia Dortmund to multiple championships. Recently though, it seems that his quality has declined. He’s played 28 games for Wolfsburg since moving there in 2016, putting up three assists and no goals. There’s a growing sense that both parties want out.
Then this gets tweeted:
Podobno gole z podań Kuby Błaszczykowskiego będzie niedługo strzelał... Nemanja Nikolić— Maciej Iwanski (@IwanskiMaciej) June 13, 2017
As with their acquisition of Bastian Schweinsteiger, the Fire seem to want Kuba and are hoping to convince him that MLS is a worthwhile challenge. Not similar to Basti, Kuba is still very involved with his national team and wants to continue playing in Europe, being linked to his former club Wisła Kraków and another yet-to-be-named Polish club. From some very loosely “Google translated” articles, it seems like Kuba may or may not have mentioned the Fire by name as a landing spot. Previously this off season, the Fire attempted to sign him but failed after he rejected the contract. Now that Basti is here, there’s a strong possibility his answer may change.
Another contributing factor working in the Fire’s favor: Kuba has family in Chicago.
@Jiggly_333 something to stir the Kuba rumors a little more,he has family living here, and will most likely what influences him to play here— michael skocinski (@Mike31_CF97) June 16, 2017
yeah my contact in Poland says if the fire give him a contract offer then it will be a 99% chance he signs here— michael skocinski (@Mike31_CF97) June 16, 2017
As with wife Ana Ivanović being friends with Pauno in the Basti situation, Kuba’s family connections will almost certainly be a factor in his decision.
Here’s a possible formation chart in this best-case scenario that features the Kuba acquisition:
OH MY F***ING GOD WE LOOK STACKED!
Obviously this is all speculative, and there’s no telling what other roster moves might have to be made in order to make room for Kuba. The Fire were sitting on a fair amount of GAM/TAM at the start of the offseason, but after picking up Niko, Dax, and Basti, the well’s starting to run a little dry. To say nothing of salary cap considerations.
The Kuba rumors also bring David Accam’s situation back to the foreground. He’s been linked with moves away for the better part of a year now, and despite his contributions and his status as one of the team’s most important squad members, his salary footprint marks him for possible offloading in the not-too-distant future. Signing Kuba will only hasten that decision.
All this to say: even if Kuba wants to come here, this isn’t an open-and-shut deal.
But right now, let’s all bask in the glory of the possibility of Jakub Blaszczykowski coming to Chicago, marking the rebirth of the Fire’s classic “Eastern Bloc” of old! So here’s the questions:
- Do you think the Fire should get Kuba?
- Do you think Kuba wants to come here?
- If we did have to give someone up to bring him on, who do you realistically think would be the one to go?
This is going to be an interesting couple of months.