Celtic forward Patryk Klimala has discussed his tricky early days at Parkhead as well as his physical transformation which left Hoops teammate Callum McGregor stunned.
The Poland Under-21 striker joined Neil Lennon’s side at the start of the year for a reported £3.5million fee (The Scottish Sun) after seven goals in 18 appearances last season for Polish Ekstraklasa side Jagiellonia Bialystok.
Klimala scored 11 goals in 48 appearances in total for Jagiellonia, having made his debut in July 2018, as well as spending a season on loan at Wigry Suwalki in the 2017-18 season, netting 13 times in 28 games.
The 21-year-old has been acclimatising to a new country and style of football and as such was handed limited game time by Neil Lennon prior to the Scottish Premiership season being called prematurely, with two league appearances and two Scottish Cup outings.
With preparations under way for the 2020-21 season, Celtic shared pictures of their players in training, and Klimala in particular caught the eye thanks to his shaven head and muscular physique.
— Celtic Football Club (from ?) (@CelticFC) June 24, 2020
As quoted by CelticFC.net, Klimala said: “At the beginning when I signed, I was tired because I didn’t have a pre-season. I had only two training sessions before joining Celtic so it was hard, but I made up for it over the lockdown and now I’m ready.
“I didn’t get to properly know everyone when I first signed, because I only had a month or so with the team before lockdown. I’m starting to get to know the team better now and I feel really happy and more settled. My fiancée and I really like Glasgow and now hopefully I can start playing regularly for the team.”
In a Celtic Q&A on Twitter, meanwhile, Klimala discussed his transformation, which left McGregor saying “he’s looking like a bouncer” and “looking really strong” yet still “really quick in training” (Daily Record).
In response to a question by a fan about his hard work, Klimala replied: “When I signed, I didn’t have a pre-season so it was hard but I made up for it over the lockdown. I’ve been working hard and have added 3.5kg of muscle. I feel quick, strong and ready for the season.”
With Odsonne Edouard and Leigh Griffiths ahead of Klimala in the pecking order, not to mention a need to get used to a different country and style of football, the 6ft starlet hasn’t had much of a chance so far at Celtic.
However, Klimala’s physique has caught the eye, testament to a player who has worked incredibly hard over the past few months in spite of current events, and it bodes well for the future if – or more appropriately when – that same drive is taken to the training ground and the pitch.