Rakels playing for Liepājas Metalurgs
|Full name||Deniss Rakels|
|Date of birth||20 August 1992|
|Place of birth||Jēkabpils, Latvia|
|Height||1.79 m (5 ft 10 1⁄2 in)|
|2007–2009||FK Liepājas Metalurgs-2|
|2009–2010||FK Liepājas Metalurgs||40||(27)|
|2011–2013||→ GKS Katowice (loan)||47||(16)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21 August 2016.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 26 September 2016
Early career in Latvia
Rakels started his youth career in his local club Jēkabpils RSS, later on moving to another club from the same city - Jēkabpils SC. In 2007, he left, signing for FK Liepājas Metalurgs-2 in the Latvian First League. While playing for the reserve team of Metalurgs, he was an outstanding team leader - he scored regularly and was impressive with his speed to finish the through balls. In 2009, only 17 years old, he was taken to the first team by that time Metalurgs manager Rüdiger Abramczik. He had no difficulties to fit into the first team level soon after joining, becoming a regular first eleven player. Even more - he scored in nearly every appearance. In fact, just after a few appearances Rakels had already completed 2 league hat-tricks. His technique and footballing skills impressed many coaches all around the world, despite him being just 18. In December 2009 he went on trial with the Italian Serie A side Sampdoria. In April 2010 he joined Swiss Super League team Basel on trial, and in August 2010 in a league game against FK Ventspils he was scouted by Werder Bremen scouts.
In December 2010 it was announced that Rakels would go on a training camp together with the Russian Premier League giants Rubin Kazan in January 2011, but the player himself decided to reject the offer, because the Polish Ekstraklasa club Zagłębie Lubin were interested in signing him. This scenario turned out to be true and on 30 January 2011, after passing medical tests, Rakels signed a three-year contract with them. Later on the player himself admitted that till the very last day before signing a contract with Zagłębie the representatives of the Ukrainian Premier League club Karpaty Lviv had been trying to persuade him to join their club, despite several previous refusals from the player.
On August 17, 2011 Rakels was sent on a season long loan spell to Polish I liga club GKS Katowice to gain experience due to his limited game time in Lubin. He scored 5 goals in 20 matches for the club, returning to Zagłębie after the season. It was reported that Rakels would be loaned to GKS for another season in August 2012. In his second season with GKS Rakels scored 11 goals in 27 matches, becoming one of the league's top scorers. In July 2013 he went on trial with the English Football League Championship club Brighton & Hove Albion, but did not stay with them, despite scoring a goal in a pre-season friendly match. Before the start of the 2013–14 Ekstraklasa season Rakels returned to Zagłębie Lubin.
On 28 January 2016 Rakels signed a two-and-a-half-year deal with Reading for an undisclosed fee. Rakels made his Reading debut on 6 February 2016, coming on as a 79th-minute substitute for Matěj Vydra, in their 0–0 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers. He scored his first goal for Reading when he struck a late winner in a 4–3 win at Charlton Athletic on 27 February 2016.
Rakels was stretchered off during Reading's EFL Cup second round match against Milton Keynes Dons on 23 August 2016 with a suspected fractured ankle. This Injury kept Rakels out of first team football for the remainder of the 2016–17 season, making only a handful of Under-23 appearances.
Rakels was a member of Latvia U-19 and Latvia U-21 football teams. In June 2010 he was firstly called up to the Latvia national football team for the 2010 Baltic Cup by the manager Aleksandrs Starkovs, who was impressed by the youngster's great form in the national championship. He made his international debut on 18 June 2010 in a 0-0 draw against Lithuania, coming on as a substitute in the 75th minute and replacing Andrejs Perepļotkins.
|Club||Season||League||National Cup||League Cup||Continental||Other||Total|
|GKS Katowice (loan)||2011–12||I liga||20||5||0||0||-||-||-||20||5|
Statistics accurate as of match played 9 June 2017
- Liepājas Metalurgs
- "Deniss Rakels". uefa.com. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
- Rakeļs raises Metalurgs expectations 5.07.2010, uefa.com
- Deniss Rakels podpisał kontrakt z Zagłębiem Lubin 30.01.2011, onet.pl
- "Reading 0-0 Wolves". www.readingfc.co.uk. Reading F.C. 6 February 2016. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
- "Charlton 3-4 Reading". BBC Sport. BBC. 27 February 2016. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
- "Reading FC striker Deniss Rakels could be facing long lay-off with suspected fractured ankle". getreading.co.uk. Get Reading. 24 August 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
- "Reading FC injury update: Deniss Rakels no closer to first-team return". readingchronicle.co.uk. Reading Chronicle. 1 March 2017. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
- "Rakels na testach medycznych". lechpoznan.pl (in Polish). Lech Poznań. 16 June 2017. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
- "Lech czeka na dokumenty z Reading". lechpoznan.pl (in Polish). Lech Poznań. 17 June 2017. Retrieved 17 June 2017.
- "Deniss Rakels". www.90minut.pl (in Polish). 90minut. 29 January 2016. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
- "D.Rakels". uk.soccerway.com. Soccerway. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
- "Deniss Rakels". National Football Teams. Retrieved 29 January 2016.