By Harry Sykes
Mateusz Klich has admitted that he has had a slow start to his Leeds United career.
The central midfielder was hailed as one of the team’s key summer signings after joining from Dutch top-tier side FC Twente for £1.5million.
He arrived as a 10-times Poland international and after a fine season in the Eredivisie, where he had enhanced his reputation as a creative and scoring force from midfield.
But Klich slipped down the pecking order for central midfield places after suffering a muscle injury during his first pre-season friendly and was restricted to basic fitness work as the rest of Thomas Christiansen’s players began vying for places.
Eunan O’Kane and Kalvin Phillips were given the nod for the Championship opener at Bolton and have gone on to be selected for all eight of Leeds’ league matches.
Christiansen has used Klich in every stage of the League Cup but he has been reduced to substitute appearances only in the main competition.
However, the 27-year-old made an impression in Tuesday’s League Cup triumph at Burnley, and made his influence grow as a dramatic and exhausting last-32 tie rolled towards extra-time and penalties.
“It’s going slowly for me but in a good direction,” Klich said to the Yorkshire Evening Post. “There’s no pressure. After two months here, everything is good after injury. I didn’t really have a pre-season but I feel better and better with every game.
“It would have been nice to play 90 minutes (on Tuesday) and not 120 because both us and Burnley have a game on Saturday. But if you have to play 120, you play. I was tired, of course, but everyone was.”
Klich is expected to be named in the Leeds squad for their Championship clash against Ipswich on Saturday but is unlikely to make the starting XI.
In other Leeds United news, a 26-year-old Monk mainstay is fighting for his Elland Road career after recent developments.