Angus Kinnear has told the Talking Shutt podcast how Mateusz Klich insisted that Leeds were making a mistake when the club decided to loan the midfielder out during Thomas Christiansen’s tenure at Elland Road.
Klich has endured a turbulent spell at Leeds. The midfielder took a while to break into Christiansen’s plans after his arrival from Twente in the 2017 summer window. But the fans were treated to glimpses of his quality as he produced an outstanding performance in the League Cup tie with Premier League side Burnley.
However, Klich appeared to be frozen out shortly after after making one error in a defeat to Cardiff City. So it came as little surprise that he was given the chance to leave the club in the January window, with Utrecht taking him back to the Eredivisie on loan.
His form back in the Netherlands did leave some wondering whether the club had made an error. But it was Marcelo Bielsa’s appointment that proved to be the turning point as he brought the Poland international back into the fold. He has since started every league game that Bielsa has taken charge of.
And Kinnear suggested that the 29-year-old predicted his own turnaround when the club decided to loan him out.
“Marcelo has seen him as somebody who could be right at the heart of everything that’s good,” he told Talking Shutt. “Credit to Mateusz as well because when we sent him out on loan, he came into my office and said, ‘you’re making a mistake and I’m going to prove you wrong’. And it’s lovely to be proven wrong in that way.”
While it is not uncommon for some managers to make others look foolish with players that they have previously written off, Klich’s transformation at Leeds has been particularly remarkable.
Those fans who wanted him given another chance while he was with Utrecht could not have foreseen that he would score 10 goals and contribute nine assists last season.
And he has started this campaign in similarly fine form. He scored in the weekend win at Barnsley. And while he may only have one league assist so far, it is fair to say that he has played a key role in a number of Leeds’s goals this season.