Leeds picked up their second win of the Premier League season to move out of the relegation zone on Sunday as they beat Norwich 2-1 at Carrow Road.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side are now on ten points after as many games, as they bid to stay up in their second season in the top-flight after promotion in 2020.
Bielsa arrived at Leeds after they finished mid-table in the Championship and inherited a squad lacking in Premier League experience, but has been able to bring a number of players along for the journey with his excellent coaching – one of them being Poland international Mateusz Klich.
The ex-Lille manager has produced a masterclass with the central midfielder over the last three years. Klich joined Leeds from FC Twente in 2017 and played a measly five Championship games before being sent out on loan to Utrecht in January 2018
At the end of his loan spell, which coincided with Bielsa’s arrival, Klich was valued at just £1.58m by Transfermarkt. Instead of heading away from Elland Road again, he remained in Yorkshire and quickly became an influential member of the squad.
He played 91 of Leeds’ 92 Championship regular-season matches under the Argentine, scoring 16 goals and providing 13 assists. His form earned high praise from Bielsa, who has held him in high esteem. He said: “Klich for me is a player that can play in all the best teams in the world.”
The central midfielder then played 35 of the club’s 38 Premier League games last term, chipping in with four goals and five assists. This shows that the manager relied upon him week-in-week-out in the top-flight, which highlights the immense progress he has made since failing to make the grade in England in the second tier in his first year at the club.
To that point, David Prutton called him the ‘epitome’ of Bielsa’s work with the club in terms of improving players whilst moving up the football ladder. Prutton told the Yorkshire Evening Press:
“You can look at what Leeds have got out of maybe an unsung hero in Mateusz Klich which has been wonderful.
“Klich has been a player who has been the very epitome of what Marcelo has done with Leeds United in making him better.”
At the time of writing (02/11/21), Transfermarkt value Klich at £3.5m. This means that his price has rocketed 127.8% from when Bielsa was appointed in 2018 and illustrates the development he has undergone under the 66-year-old’s coaching. Therefore, it has been a masterclass in management and, hopefully, more players will follow in Klich’s footsteps in the coming years.