Mateusz Klich has not completed 90 minutes in Leeds United colours since September and this weekend’s heavy defeat to Arsenal was another reminder that the Poland international may no longer be good enough for the club.
The 31-year-old midfielder has had a rough time of it this season, struggling for form and consistency.
Indeed, he has started ten of his 13 appearances in the Premier League this term, in which he has played the entire duration of the game only three times – the last coming in the 2-1 defeat to West Ham, as he was replaced late on against Watford in early October.
It was his error against Chelsea that cost them a chance at a point but manager Marcelo Bielsa kept the faith in him as he was trusted to replace the injured Jamie Shackleton early on during the Man City defeat.
He then started on Saturday evening as United suffered yet another heavy loss.
The 38-cap Pole was hooked in the 78th minute after another disappointing outing and it even drew some sort of reaction from his manager. “Hooked off again yesterday and a rare attempt by Bielsa to console him,” claimed LeedsLive reporter Beren Cross to Twitter.
As per SofaScore, Klich won just 50% of his midfield battles, with opposite numbers Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard all registering a better average rating.
Only Jack Harrison (6.32) has registered a worse seasonal average WhoScored rating than Klich (6.37) so far this season, from all players to have started in ten or more matches. Three of his last four appearances have seen him fail to surpass a mediocre 6.0, too.
Under Bielsa in the Championship, Klich started every single league game in his first season in charge. In total, he made 93 starts from 94 games in the league and the play-offs between 2018 and 2020, which goes to show just how important he has been for the Yorkshiremen.
However, the English top-flight is a different kettle of fish and it’s becoming increasingly evident that the £34k-per-week long-serving midfielder is just not good enough to warrant a regular place in the lineup.
On the above evidence, he would be lucky to feature again for the Whites this season, particularly if there wasn’t an ongoing injury crisis and the fact that his history at the club deserves plenty of respect.
But for the time being, Klich has no right to feature in Bielsa’s starting XI going forward. He is simply no longer good enough to wear Leeds’ colours.
AND in other news, Bielsa could save millions with Leeds’ 20 y/o rarely-seen “great talent”…