Just right in time for the start of the season’s preparations, the FCSP did announce the signing of Leart Paqarada. Paqarada was contracted for three years and will (mainly) improve the FCSP as a left wing-back. And again, just as after the transfer of Daniel-Kofi Kyereh, I can barely control my emotions. A great transfer!
(Cover picture: Carpe Diem Sandhausen)
But before we focus on the sportive value of this transfer, I’d like to point out that next to Boris Tashchy, the squad of the FCSP now gained another huge asset for the category “SWAG-level”. And this, too, adds to my positive wave of emotions – just look at this:
Of course, Leart Paqarada is not unknown for most of us as he played for the SV Sandhausen for six years already (speaking of which, you can find a summary to ascertain his skills here). And at the Millerntor, he’s known to many spectators already, however, he did only beg for compliments amongst the visitor’s supporters so far, due to his own way of how to “process” duels. In my impression, Leart Paqarada is a player who is, next to his technical focus and his high dynamics, raising attention because of his fair but unbelievably hard way of fighting in duels (and as he will be playing for the FCSP from now on, I’ll like that now!).
To better ascertain who Leart Paqarada actually is, where his strength and weaknesses are, I was allowed to ask Stefan of the SVS-Supporters Club Carpe Diem Sandhausen a few questions:
Moin Stefan, Leart Paqarada is transferred from the SV Sandhausen to the FC St. Pauli. Is this a good fit from your point of view?
I have to admit that I was quite a little bit surprised when I heard of Lear’s transfer to St. Pauli. I would have rather assumed that he’d be transferred to Düsseldorf or Hanover. Teams, that have the clear aim to fight for promotion in the next season. As St. Pauli wasn’t amongst the teams on top of the league during the last couple of years, I’d rather thought that Leart would transfer to a team with clear ambitions to get promoted. But apparently, the new team of coaches lead by Timo Schultz as well as the general concept with a great city and great supporters could convince Leart eventually. So, you’ll definitely get a good left wing-back of which there are not that many around.
What type of player is Paqarada on the pitch?
Leart is a modern left wing-back who adds a lot to the offensive play by contributing good and dangerous runs on the flank. Additionally, he kicked almost every set piece at the SV Sandhausen. However, in total, Leart is rather a calm type of player on the pitch.
During his six years at the SV Sandhausen, Leart Paqarada made 152 of 204 possible appearances. That’s pretty constant. When he was missing a match, was this rather due to performance reasons or due to injuries?
Leart joined the team from the Hardtwald as a 19yo from the second team of Bayer Leverkusen. During his six years here in Sandhausen, he developed into an absolute regular player and top performer. Of course, there were some phases in which he did not perform as usual and thus had to miss a few matches. But he always made his way back into the team and in between, he also became a national player of Kosovo.
At the end of last season, Paqarada played as a left midfielder but most of his time as a left wing-back. Which position is a better fit for him?
The line-up at the end of last season with three central defenders and Diekmeier/Paqarada at the flanks was a flexible option to change between a backline of three and a backline of five. I think, for Paqa, it wasn’t that big of a change as he’s a pretty offensive left wing-back, as stated earlier already. But for most of his time in Sandhausen, he was a classical left wing-back in a backline of four where he performed pretty well most of the time.
FCSP-coach Timo Schultz is according to his own statement looking forward to a “powerful, offensive left wing-back“. Is he right?
Yes, Paqa is definitely skilled to do a good built-up.
And what about his defensive skills?
Also in this regard he performed well. But as Leart did often join the front line as well as kicking corner balls and free kicks, there were a few gaps on his position in the back sometimes. However, that’s the drawback of an offensive layout.
Additionally, Schultz mentioned Paqarada’s brilliant skills in terms of set pieces. Was he right again?
In Sandhausen, Paqa did kick almost every corner ball and free-kick. However, there was always some criticism about him from time to time, Because his free-kicks and corner balls were of different qualities. Amongst them were some of world-class’ and of community league’s quality.
We already pointed at a lot of his strengths. Does Leart also have a few things to improve?
Of course. I already mentioned the set pieces. There was a lack of consistency and there were some balls which were rather too short or too long. And from time to time, Paqa is a sluggish Rambo, who’s taking many risks and losing the ball to easy then. Also, I don’t see him as a huge leader or motivator. If a team isn’t performing well, he’s not amongst those who take the lead to change things. That might be due to his calm character.
With 25 years of age, he’s just getting into the best footballer’s age. Do you think, he’s able to join a team of the first division?
Actually, I think currently, the first division would be a little bit too much for him. But when he keeps working on his weaknesses while keeping his strengths, I can definitely see him make it in the first division. But that’s your task from now on, to make this work for Leart in the next few years. And becoming the winner of the Champions-League in 2030 with the FC St. Pauli would make a perfect and happy end of his career… (say “Hi” to Maik btw? )
Stefan, thanks you very much for your assessment!
Let’s sum up: The FCSP gets a powerful offensive and dynamic left wing-back who is also able to contribute to set pieces. Thus, the position of the left wing-back can finally be as good as it already was with the duo Buballa/Halstenberg (if you see Buballa as a left wing-back rather than a centre back). And as this was already five years ago… it got time again!
Welcome to the Millerntor, Leart Paqarada!
// Tim (Translated by Arne)