Tottenham Hotspur Women confirmed the loan of Polish striker Nikola Karczewska to Bayer Leverkusen for the 2023/24 season. Nikola signed from FC Fleury in fall of 2022, but she failed to make an impact due to injury, lack of service in a failing side, and the eventual arrival of Beth England.
Robert Vilahamn has had all of preseason and several behind-closed-doors friendlies to get a good look at all his players. Since the friendly matches were, you know, behind closed doors, we don’t really know what happened, but we know Nikola didn’t feature much.
This makes sense. Vilahamn sides tend to play in possession and execute a high press. It’s not clear to me that’s what Nikola does–she’s more of a pure striker, and while she’s shown promise at other aspects of the game, she’s been too injured or too stuck behind Beth England for us to really know.
Nikola may be on the path to developing into a complete striker, but her unlucky last season can’t have helped her development much. If she’s ever to feature for Tottenham, she definitely needs a loan with consistent minutes. You could argue Spurs should keep her around for cup games and the odd league minutes, but that didn’t even really seem to work last year. Nikola scarcely got any time off the bench even when half-fit Beth England needed a rest.
Should he need to use a striker other than Bethany, he can always look to Grace Clinton, Ellie Brazil, Rosella Ayane (I know, I know, I’m trying to delete it), or perhaps another new signing? Just kidding, but one can always hope!
It feels weird saying a temporary goodbye to a player we were all so excited about at this time last year. When she joined, she was an admittedly somewhat unproven prospect, but a hugely exciting talent nonetheless. I’m disappointed by both her lack of gametime and lack of goals. I hope this Bayer Leverkusen loan works for her, even if we never see her succeed in a Spurs shirt. In fact, I may tune in to the Frauen Bundesliga a few times this year just to watch her (hopefully) banging ‘em in.