Leeds make shock transfer U-turn, 27-yr-old is class act who can rip it up next season
COMMENT By Richard Parks
With the olive branch extended, Leeds United must now hand Mateusz Klich a regular starting role next season.
At the very least, give him the opportunity to prove he can cut it in the Championship after his baffling half-season under Thomas Christiansen.
A £1.5m signing from FC Twente 11 months ago, Klich recently revealed how Christiansen stopped communicating with him after his error led to a goal in the 3-1 defeat to Cardiff City last September.
The 10-times Poland international did not start another league game and was sent to Utrecht in the Dutch Eredivisie January.
Back on familiar ground in Holland, the midfielder has thrived, looking more like the creative midfield kingpin who Leeds believed they were signing.
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He left no doubt that he would fight on at Elland Road after his loan ends this weekend.
“I spoke with them, they want me back,” he told Polish website SportoweFakty. “I still have two years on my contract. I have unfinished business there.”
This is a shock U-turn from Leeds, given that it was widely reported he would never be seen again in a United jersey following his winter exit.
It was baffling to many fans that the Yorkshire giants paid relatively big money for Klich and then hardly ever played him.
Even when they finished seventh under Garry Monk, there was a deficit of genuine calibre in central midfield, and that proved to be the case once again in the recently completed season as mainstays Kalvin Phillips, Eunan O’Kane and Ronaldo Vieira struggled to control the tempo of matches.
The one exception was January signing Adam Forshaw, who missed a number of matches due to injury but is a class act and will be the first selection in that position next season.
Klich is a similarly capable defensive midfielder who can put his foot on the ball and provide the kind of creativity that Phillips, O’Kane and Vieira are incapable of.
Christiansen clearly didn’t rate him that highly, and the Pole still has to prove that his game is suited to the Championship’s unique rhythms.
But you don’t play 10 times for Poland without being a fine player, and Klich has the calibre to rip it up next season.