Mateusz Klich could emerge as a big winner from Leeds United’s lack of business this January transfer window.
The long-serving Polish midfielder, who is a favourite of Marcelo Bielsa, has been struggling for form throughout the 2021/22 campaign but their failure to land top target Brenden Aaronson – or anyone in the role for that matter – has offered a new lifeline.
Indeed, the Yorkshire giants saw two bids of around £15m and £20m rejected by Austrian side RB Salzburg for their star attacking maestro, with a deal likely to happen in the summer instead.
It means Bielsa is left to work with what he’s got, so he’s going to have to persist with the out-of-sorts 31-year-old for the next six months at least.
But Klich could take this opportunity to get back to his very best – after all, Leeds desperately need to see the same sort of form that made him undroppable in Bielsa’s early seasons at the club.
It’s been four years since the Yorkshiremen signed a new midfielder, so there’s certainly a need to bolster that area but Leeds will now be hoping that the Poland international can make that void not seem so obvious.
There was a run of games stretching several months before the new year that saw Klich fail to finish the 90 minutes, in fact after their first game in October, he didn’t complete another match until the win over Burnley.
In that game, he went on to create seven key chances, making 84% of his passes and almost rolling back the years to his time in the Championship, where he was a relentless figure in the final third for the club.
The £8.5m-rated maestro has since almost found himself on the scoresheet too after his goal against West Ham United was chalked off after VAR review, though luckily, Leeds went onto win that game 3-2.
For a long time this season, the £34k-per-week star was somewhat of a passenger at Elland Road but with his recent upturn in form and Leeds’ failure to sign additions in his role, he could well be set for a new lease of life, starting with a trip to Aston Villa next week.
“We’ve had good performances from him and we’ve also had real dips in form from him this season,” recently claimed Whelan to Football Insider. “But when we needed someone to stand up and be accountable for us yesterday, he was there and he rose to the challenge expertly.”
Klich could have a big part to play in Leeds’ quest to stay in the Premier League now.