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‘Get in,’ ‘Great signing!’ – Ever the optimists, these Leeds fans were eventually right about this addition

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The era of Massimo Cellino was over, Leeds United were under new ownership. 

Andrea Radrizzani took sole charge of the club and appointed his first manager, Thomas Christiansen in the summer of 2017.

Having taken over a side that finished seventh the previous season, it was believed that the squad had the tools to mount a more sustained promotion push this time around.

There was a huge influx of players that summer at Elland Road during the length of the transfer window.

One of the first new arrivals at the club came on June 23, 2017.

Although the signing was not officially registered until July 1 when the transfer window opened, Leeds announced the capture of Mateusz Klich from Eredivisie outfit FC Twente.

Despite an initial offer being rejected, the then 26-year-old put pen-to-paper on a three-year deal with the Championship club.

And there was an initial positive reaction to the club’s newest addition.

Klich made his debut for the club in a 4-1 League Cup win over Port Vale, and ten days later, his second-tier bow was made in the 2-0 win over Sunderland.

Despite that, he found himself behind Kalvin Phillips, Eunan O’Kane and Ronaldo Vieira in the Leeds pecking order under Christiansen.

His first and only league start that campaign would come in the September 26 defeat to Cardiff City.

On that occasion, Klich slipped and lost possession, leading to a Kenneth Zohore goal. 

That was a hallmark moment in his debut year at Elland Road as he was dropped from the team and rarely used in the intervening months.

He made just three appearances after the Cardiff defeat in the next three months.

After just four Championship appearances, and five cup fixtures, on January 22, 2018, Klich left the club on loan to Dutch side FC Utrecht.

Fans of the club were pleased to see the back of the Poland international after failing to make an impact and hampering the team with some costly errors after his summer move.

Klich made 16 appearances for FC Utrecht during his six-month loan, scoring once.

While out in Holland, his parent club’s boss was sacked and replaced with Paul Heckingbottom as Leeds finished 13th in the division after a spectacular post-Christmas collapse.

The 28-year-old would return to Elland Road for pre-season training ahead of the 2018/19 campaign with another new manager at the helm.

Marcelo Bielsa was appointed in the summer, and the midfielder was given a new lease of life.

Under the Argentinian, he made his first appearance back at Leeds in the pre-season friendly draw against York City where he played in a new centre-back role before reverting to a deep-lying playmaker position in the second half.

It was in the league, however, that Klich would play in a more advanced position ahead of Phillips in the holding role, and that would pay dividends immediately.

He scored his first league goal for Leeds in the opening game of the season on August 5, 2018, against Stoke City at Elland Road in a 3–1 win, his first competitive game for the club in almost seven months.

He followed that goal up the following week by scoring his second goal for the club in a 4-1 win against Derby County on August 11 2018.

After scoring against Norwich City on August, 25 making it three goals in five games, on August 27, Klich was named in the Poland squad for the first time in four years after impressing for Leeds at the beginning of the campaign.

A mainstay in Bielsa’s team, Klich has scored four goals in 12 matches and registered three assists.

It is a far cry from how his first season at the club went, and he has since proven his worth and shown the ability the club had hoped he had when signing him the summer before.

Despite the warm welcome and subsequent loan away after failing to impress, there has been redemption for Klich and also the Leeds fans who have finally been proven right about the signing they were so impressed with back in June 2017.


ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: ‘Get in,’ ‘Great signing!’ – Ever the optimists, these Leeds fans were eventually right about this addition

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