COMMENT By Richard Parks
Pawel Cibicki is unlikely to play for Leeds United ever again.
That is the only conclusion to be drawn from his latest snub by Paul Heckingbottom.
The Swedish forward was already way down the Leeds pecking order even before he was axed from the matchday squad for Saturday’s 1-1 Championship draw against Sunderland.
But, his omission from an 18 that included academy teenagers Tom Pearce and Callum Nicell, as well as Jay-Roy Grot, means it would not be a surprise if the 24-year-old never plays another game for United.
It is telling that Cibicki is one of the few senior players who has not even been deemed worthy of a single minute of action since Heckingbottom took the reins.
Bar a brief spell in the side either side of Christmas, when the former Sweden Under-21 international was given a few run-outs on the right flank, he has been frozen out of the team amid doubts about his physicality and ability to cope with the English Championship.
The Swede was an unused substitute in the midweek defeat at Fulham, and the win against Bolton Wanderers on Good Friday, but his latest omission suggests the writing is on the wall for his Leeds career.
At least Thomas Christiansen did give Cibicki a go, handing him 10 appearances in total, the last of which came as a substitute in his penultimate match in charge against Hull City in January.
Heckingbottom has frozen the Swede out completely and not even named him in the matchday squad for eight of the last 12 matches.
Cibicki arrived at Elland Road last summer from Malmo for a fee of around £1.5million amid a whirlwind of new signings.
But the United hierarchy don’t appear to rate him and the likelihood is that he will be given the cold shoulder for the final five league matches before leaving in the summer window.
In other Leeds United transfer news, the club are working on a deal to sign an English centre-back who has been the best in the league this season.