Position: Defensive midfield
Club: Mlada Boleslav
Ladislav ‘Laco’ Takacs rose through the ranks at a remarkable rate, making the transition from promising youth team talent to established Synot Liga player look remarkably easy. After making a couple of brief substitute appearances with the senior side at the start of the year, the Frantiskovy Lazne born defensive midfielder/centre-back had pushed his way into Teplice’s starting eleven by the summer. By the year-end, he was first choice for the Na Stinadlech club and, in addition to his promising domestic form, he was beginning to make an impact with the Czech Under-21s.
And it was on the international front that he looked at his most impressive. He scored on his debut against Denmark and followed that up with a brilliant display in midfield, helping the Lion Cubs gain a credible draw against the heavily-fancied Germans
2014 was stellar and 2015 looked as if it could be something special.
Things started badly.
Whilst everybody was busy changing their wall calendars, Teplice’s management and then first-team coach Zdenek Scasny started fighting. This disagreement became public and saw the former Panathinaikos manager step down and leave the club that he had guided to an unlikely title challenge the year before.
Takacs had made immeasurably progress under the guidance of Scasny, but, almost immediately; it seemed that Petr Rada (Scasny’s replacement) had different ideas. Instead, Rada opted to partner Admir Ljevakovic with Stepan Vachousek in midfield and he seemed to prefer everybody else in the centre of defence. Only when Ljevakovic was absent, or when he deviated from a 4-2-3-1 formation, did Takacs get any real playing time.
Not that Jakub Dovalil, the coach of the Czech Under-21s, cared too much. Ladislav Takacs remained an important part of the group in the lead up to the UEFA championships and performed well in a surprise victory over Portugal.
Although an unused substitute in the tournament itself, it was clear that Dovalil appreciated the versatility that he brought to the squad.
However, despite this glimmer of hope, things at club level continued to go downhill. David Vavruska replaced Petr Rada over the summer and for the second time that year, Takacs failed to win over his new boss and instead of remaining at Na Stinadlech as a fringe player, the defensive midfielder left Teplice for Banik Sokolov.
At Sokolov Takacs excelled, easily dominating fixtures in the Czech second division. During his stint in the east of the country, he made thirteen appearances and scored twice as Banik recorded an unbeaten first-half to their league campaign.
The New Year just a few days old, the news emerged that Teplice had sold Takacs to Mlada Boleslav for an undisclosed fee. Given that Teplice had a less than exemplary defensive record under Vavruska, the move seemed illogical at best and unforgivable at worst. But when the quotes started flowing, it became apparent that the relationship between player, agent and management had soured beyond repair.
It remains to be seen if Takacs will get playing time at Mlada Boleslav, but he has the ability, versatility and potential to push his way into the first-team picture by the time the league resumes in mid-February. Jasmin Scuk and Jakub Rada will be tough roadblocks to navigate, but as we have seen this season, Karel Rada is not afraid of making changes if people are not pulling their weight.
All of this, however, must be taken with the caveat that Takacs is just nineteen-years-old. Nineteen! Potentially, the sky is the limit with this kid.
Potentially, the sky is the limit.
- Posted by Chris Boothroyd
- On 16th January 2016