Leeds United have secured their first new signing in what is expected to be a busy summer under new manager Thomas Christiansen. The arrival of Mateusz Klich at Elland Road has now been confirmed, and the midfielder is set to be the first Polish player to don the famous white shirt.
Having arrived in England for the first time as a player, it is no surprise that many Leeds supporters, as well as fans of their rivals, will be wondering just who Klich is, and what they can expect from him.
The 27-year-old has become something of a European Journeyman, having played in Poland, Germany and the Netherlands in the last six years, representing five different clubs. During that journey, the central midfielder also represented his homeland on the international stage, winning 10 caps for The Eagles.
However, he has so far endured a mixed career, VFL Wolfsburg invested over £1 million on Klich (making him Polish side Cracovia’s record sale) before loaning him out, selling him and eventually buying him back. The repurchase was the result of improved form whilst at PEC Zwolle, yet he was unable to secure a place in the German side’s starting XI on his return.
Since then, an 18-month spell at FC Kaiserslautern (his longest one-club stint since 2011) ended with a return to the Eredivisie, this time representing FC Twente. The deal at the Dutch club, signed just last summer, tied him down for three seasons, but after impressing in the last year he caught the attention of several clubs.[interaction id=”594d741491c67496388a083b”]
According to the Yorkshire Evening Post, Klich was high on Leeds’ list of targets for the summer, his early capture ensuring a positive start to the club’s transfer window.
Last season, six goals and four assists was a strong return from a player whose primary roles were distribution and defensive play. Klich also secured an average rating on statistics site WhoScored? of 7.33, the second highest of any regularly appearing Twente player, behind only the side’s top scorer. The midfielder even picked up eight yellow cards, showing the kind of tenacity and bite that can be key in tight Championship fixtures.
Like his new manager, Klich is something of an unknown in regards to English football. Yet, his record is an interesting one, and some decent European sides have seen something in him. The only major concern appears to be a recent lack of international football, having been uncapped since 2014. This, however, may be down to improvements in the Polish game – at the time of his last appearance, Poland were ranked 41 by FIFA, they have since risen to 10th.
Either way, international experience isn’t overly important in the Championship, and Leeds will be happy if he gets the extra rest throughout what is sure to be another challenging season.
Featured Image: All rights reserved by Henry Dijkman