Robert Mak arrived at Toumba Stadium after a zero-goals-season at FC Nürnberg for an estimated cost of 300.000 euros. In his whole career, he had only scored 8 times and at the age of 23 seemed like a lost hot prospect, as a former member of Manchester City Academy.
Nowadays, 16 months later, the Slovak winger is Europa League's first scorer, national team's main attacking threat and probably PAOK's most highly-valued player. He was not only scored 15 times, but has also participated in 26 official matches and it's still November.
His speed ability was the main reason technical director Zisis Vrizas bought him from FC Nürnberg, after its relegation to Zweiteliga despite his scoring weakness. Mak was impressive at pre-season's friendly games, scoring at his debut against RKC Waalwijk, and at his first season in Greece achieved a number of 8 goals in 35 appearances, playing in both winger sides but with better results on the left because he is right-footed and can shot more easily.
However, his latest goal was against Panthrakikos in January and club's below average performances did not help him star, along with the many missing opportunities. Mak seemed to prefer shots from distance than side-foot finishes, none of his goals at 2014-15 was by this way.
PAOK's new manager Igor Tudor firstly used him as left wingback at a 3-5-2 formation, but the injury of starting forward Athanasiadis allowed Mak to play at a false-nine attacking position. The Slovak scored three times against Lokomotiva Zagreb and added three more goals at Europa League Play Offs clashes against Brondby. It was an ideal start of the season.
Mak also scored an impressive goal against Borussia Dortmund, which proved his high self confidence this year, and a magnificent long effort at national team's friendly game against Iceland.
At this first part of the season, Mak has already scored 8 times in 10 Europa League matches, 4 in 5 national team's games and 3 in domestic competitions. The most impressive is that he needed the high number of 26 chances to score them, which shows that he still has finishing issues.
Mak enjoys his team at PAOK, feeling important, and the club is ready to extend his 325.000 euros per year contract, which expires at 2017. The player will participate at France's Euro 2016 and it is possible that his transfer value will be increased. The Slovak still has playing disadvantages, but seems like the technical director's Frank Arnesen role model for future transfers: young, cheap, with physical ability and "hungry" for success.