Monday, August 8, 2022

Finally Kliching: The Fairytale Of Mateusz Klich’s Leeds United Career

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Sean Condron
A soon to be student who enjoys watching, talking and writing about football.

“The chance that I return is 99%, almost a hundred. I still have a two-year contract. I have unfinished business there”.

The above was what Mateusz Klich had to say when he spoke about his Leeds United future with Dutch newspaper AD back in May. Since then he has gone on to become one of the many players who has been transformed in the early stages of Marcelo Bielsa’s revolution at the club.

Klich was Thomas Christensen’s first signing as Leeds manager back in June 2017 as the former Barcelona striker tried to piece together a squad capable of making a promotion push in his first season in charge. Having signed a three-year contract and with a reported £1.5m fee paid to FC Twente, fans were expecting the 10 time Polish international to play a crucial part in the upcoming season.

Sadly for fans and Klich alike, he failed to have the expected initial impact. After making his debut in the League Cup against Port Vale, Klich would go onto to make just eight more appearances before departing the club on a temporary basis with his final appearance coming in the infamous FA Cup defeat to Newport County.

Having fallen out of favour with Christensen, Klich returned to the Eredivisie with FC Utrecht on a loan deal till the end of the last season. He would have an instant impact at the club with the side going unbeaten in his first five appearances. The continuation of his good form throughout his time at the club helped the Dutch side finish 5th in the Eredivisie.

During his time out on loan and after Christensen had been sacked by Leeds, the Pole made various comments regarding his breakdown in relationship with the former manager. He claimed in an interview with Polish magazine SportoweFakty that the Spaniard had “practically stopped speaking to me” following a slip which led to a goal in a 3-1 defeat away at Cardiff in October.

The Return To Leeds United Under Bielsa

Having returned this pre-season, Klich was now under the management of Marcelo Bielsa and was instantly placed into the group of players with a question mark over their futures by the prolific Argentinean. The 28-year-old quickly worked himself back into the first team picture with a string of impressive pre-season displays.

Following the foot injury to Adam Forshaw in the week leading up to the season opener with Stoke City, Klich was given the opportunity to put his stamp on the position within Bielsa’s fluid attacking system. He certainly grabbed the opportunity provided to him in the opening day victory with an impressive display in the centre of midfield which included his first goal for the club.

The impressive displays have continued over the last couple of weeks for the 6 foot Pole and he has started all four competitive fixtures of the 100% start which Leeds have had under Marcelo Bielsa. He has become a crucial part to the pressing style which the side have applied onto their victims so far as well as being calm in possession of the ball whilst possessing the ability to cut open defences and start attacks for The Whites.

His performances have put question marks over the situation of Adam Forshaw who would have been widely expected to be the first choice central midfielder in that role but will certainly have his work cut out to regain his place on his return.

A return to the Polish national team is also being discussed for Klich who would be looking to come back into the side for the first time since his substitute appearance in a European qualifier against Gibraltar back in September 2014.

As for Leeds United, the rejuvenated Mateusz Klich is just one of the many positives that have already come under the management of Marcelo Bielsa as he looks to continue his successful 100% start to the season and lead the club back to the promised land.

Premier League promotion is there for the taking for Leeds United.

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