Club: Viktoria Plzeň
One of many gifted youngsters to emerge from Příbram’s highly-rated academy, Aleš Matějů spent a year with the Dutch giants PSV before returning back to the Czech Republic. He made his top-flight debut back in 2014 and would quickly become a fixture in Příbram’s starting XI. His performances saw him make the move to Viktoria Plzeň, where after a couple of months on the bench, he became their first-choice right-back.
If you want to read more on the fullbacks stellar 2015, then you might want to read last year’s report.
For nine months of the year, Matějů could walk on water and do no wrong. The prodigal fullback was an ever present for Plzeň as they sauntered to successive league titles, keeping a fully fit Radim Řezník out of the side and, to some degree, pushing František Rajtoral out of the door and off to Turkey in the process. He continued to play brilliantly in Europe, even when those around him struggled, with his box-to-box performances in Plzeň’s hectic draw with Ludogorets in Champions League Qualifying the perfect example of his ability to attack, defend and do it all.
The only thing missing from his CV is recognition at international level; the icing and cherry on the cake. His form from January-September probably merits a call-up (after all, lesser players have been given a chance under Karel Jarolím), but when you’ve got Theo Gebre Selassie and Pavel Kadeřábek ahead of you in the pecking order, being a regular for the Under-21s will have to do.
Then, things started to go south.
At the end of September, Roman Pivarník dropped the 20-year-old after a handful of unimpressive performances. If benching Matějů was supposed to give him a kick up the backside, it failed, and Radim Řezník became first-choice at right-back after a long spell out on the sidelines.
It would be easy to attribute this drop in form as a normal occurrence for somebody who is still learning his trade but the truth is he is still performing way below the standards expect of him. When given a chance, he has looked off the pace. Take his listless display against Mladá Boleslav and an erratic showing against Roma in a Europa League dead-rubber and it’s hard not to be worried that things have gone awry somewhat.
Aleš Matějů is extremely talented, let’s not forget that. He has youth on his side and he’ll get the chance to take back that right-back slot in due time. He may have to wait for it, but his time will come.
He just has to be ready for it.
- Posted by Chris Boothroyd
- On 20th January 2017