CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Charlotte FC’s search for a Designated Player winger has finally reached its conclusion. Reinforcements are officially on the way.
Charlotte have acquired Poland international winger Kamil Jozwiak from Derby County on a permanent transfer, as first reported by MLSsoccer.com and announced Friday as a DP deal through 2025 with a 2026 option. The dynamic winger made 58 Championship appearances with Derby after arriving for a reported $5 million fee in the summer of 2020, and was managed by former England and D.C. United star Wayne Rooney.
“He’s only 23 and he already has 22 games for Poland,” sporting director Zoran Krneta told MLSsoccer.com. “He has played in big games, he played in the Euros. He played against Spain and Holland. Can you play in Salt Lake City if you played against Holland? I think you can.”
Inside the deal
Jozwiak had one goal and four assists during his time in the Championship. He will be a DP, but sources say can be bought down in the future, just like current Young DP midfielder Jordy Alcivar. Alcivar is expected to be bought down in the summer to make room for another DP.
The winger is another long-term target and perhaps a sign the club’s luck is changing. A month ago, Charlotte agreed on a deal with Derby to take Jozwiak on loan with a purchase option, but that fell through. This occurred within the same few days a deal for Venezuelan international and Granada (La Liga) winger Darwin Machis fell through at the last moment.
Jozwiak’s initial deal collapsed because he got injured in a game just as agreements were being finalized and a medical was arranged. Initial fears on the pitch suggested the injury would be long-term, but there has since been good news. Though Jozwiak’s been out a month, he should be physically ready to join training in a few weeks, which will coincide with (likely) how long it’ll take to get his visa sorted anyway.
The new deal – a permanent one unlike the initially agreed-upon loan with purchase option – is below the total value that was previously discussed between the clubs.
“We kept our eye on him; we didn’t think his injury was too serious,” Krneta said. “We talked to the Polish doctors, we talked to the Derby doctors. Okay, we can’t get him on loan anymore. Let’s keep an eye and try to strike a deal that works for us. Let’s try to lower the price to get a fantastic deal that we cannot miss. That moment came.”
Jozwiak and CLT FC teammate Karol Swiderski were both regulars for Poland at the European Championships last summer. One match in which they both started featured players from Bayern Munich, Serie A, the Premier League and more. And now, two from Charlotte.
The versatile attacker is comfortable on either the left or the right flank. In Poland’s preferred 3-5-2 formation, Jozwiak plays as a wingback, showing further versatility.
“He has speed, he has strength, he is a very interesting winger,” Krneta said. “He played as a right wing for Derby, a wingback for Poland, but at Lech Poznan he played as a left wing, where he scored more goals. He has a good cross, he has goals in him. He works tirelessly.”
One concern may be his raw goal contributions for Derby, which was low for someone set to be a DP attacker in MLS. Charlotte are confident his numbers will increase here.
“Jozwiak is a winger, he’s not only about scoring goals,” Krneta said. “He’s also assisting goals and being part of the team. If he scores two goals for us but Karol scores 15 because of him, I’d take that.”
Jozwiak is a key piece as the attack comes into focus, but he won’t be the last addition.
Charlotte still hope to add another attacker before the end of the Primary Transfer Window (May 4), with a U22 Initiative slot earmarked for a winger. U22 Initiative forward Vinicius Mello is currently injured, but will return in a month or two.