Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa must make a ruthless call on Poland international Mateusz Klich ahead of the new Premier League season after David Norris’ latest transfer claim.
Reports in recent weeks have linked the Whites with moves for the likes of Cagliari’s Nahitan Nandez and Udinese’s Rodrigo De Paul, and Norris has now suggested that Klich could be the fall guy for a potential move for one of those midfielders.
When asked if Klich should be worried about his game-time next season in the Premier League, he said: “Yeah, I think Klich might be because he hasn’t set it on fire and it hasn’t gone well for him. So I think potentially, it could be a bit more difficult for him.”
While four goals and five assists in the Premier League last season is hardly anything to be sniffed at, Klich endured a rather disappointing campaign overall for the Whites – in fact, as per Whoscored, out of those players who started more than ten games, the Polish ace was the third-worst ranked player in the entire squad, with only Tyler Roberts and Helder Costa below him.
He averaged just 1.1 tackles (even Raphinha managed the same), and only 0.3 interceptions per game (Tyler Roberts had the same). And offensively, he wasn’t much of a threat either, averaging the sixth-most shots, and the 12th most dribbles – in fact, centre-back Diego Llorente averaged the same amount of dribbles as Klich did.
De Paul, however, seems to be the perfect fit for what Bielsa wants at Elland Road, with his ability to score goals and also be a defensive menace, making him a superb box-to-box option – he bagged an impressive nine goals and provided a further 11 assists in all competitions last season.
That completeness is something Udinese’s technical director, Pier Paolo Marino, has praised the £26m-rated star for, saying: “Rodrigo is animated by a profound love of football. It’s one of the attributes all top players must have. He’s a tireless worker who mixes quantity with quality, training as hard as he plays. In a nutshell, he’s the ideal player.”
If Leeds want to take that next step, then making those ruthless calls on players who have been almost stalwarts at the club simply have to be made.
And while the £3.6m-rated Klich has been a first-team regular for so long now, De Paul would be a major upgrade on him, and that’s exactly why the 31-year-old simply isn’t good enough to be a Leeds starter anymore.