After being one of the early stars of Leeds United’s return to the Premier League, it’s fair to say Mateusz Klich hasn’t quite hit those heights in recent weeks.
The Poland international had managed two goals and five assists in Marcelo Bielsa’s side’s first 16 top-flight games, but since then, there’s been nothing to write home about with no goal contributions whatsoever.
Bielsa has been reluctant to drop him from the starting line-up, however, persisting with the 30-year-old even when times have been tough, and that’s a testament to just how much of a trusted lieutenant Klich has been over these past few years at Elland Road.
But with West Ham on Monday night, Bielsa must seriously consider dropping Klich from his team, and allowing him the time to just regroup and recharge his batteries.
In fact, speaking just in late January, former Leeds man Noel Whelan delivered his verdict on the 30-year-old, saying: “Sometimes you can play too much football and I think that is the case with him right now. It would only be right to give him a little bit of a break. He has played a lot of football in the past 12 months.
“He hasn’t been himself for over a month now. He’s not doing too much. He is drifting through games and that’s worrying.”
Things have continued in that same fashion since Whelan’s comments, with Bielsa even taking him off multiple times during games – he’s completed the full 90 minutes in just the past eight Premier League games, which is a far cry from a run earlier in the season when he played the full 90 in ten out of the club’s 13 opening matches.
As per Whoscored, he hasn’t scored higher than a measly 6.36 match rating in his past ten matches, including multiple instances of performances recorded lower than six. Only Helder Costa is ranked below Klich’s average rating over the course of the season, and that’s a damning statement of just how badly his performances have been.
He may not like it, but Bielsa must be ruthless. The £45k-a-week earning man simply has to be dropped against West Ham.