Mateusz Klich was the first signing under then head coach Thomas Christiansen for Leeds United. However, it was claimed that Klich came to Leeds under the recommendation of Garry Monk, who liked him when he played in Germany for Kaiserslautern. This became evident pretty early on, as Christiansen basically refused to play him.
Under Thomas Christiansen Klich never got enough time to really show his abilities. His only start was against Cardiff City, and his slip led to a Cardiff break and opening goal. This led Thomas Christiansen to make up his mind about Klich, as after that start Mateusz saw only 21 minutes of Championship football. Those 21 came 15 matches after the Cardiff game; that stretch of time saw him named to the bench only twice. January came around, and all signs pointed in a quick exit from Elland Road, which ultimately ended up happening. However, instead of being sold off Klich was loaned out to Eredivisie side FC Utrecht. Klich was given consistent minutes, and the tone about him started to change. In 14 matches Klich picked up 3 assists and a goal to his name, even playing in two Europa league playoff matches.
Klich had this to say about playing under Thomas Christiansen:
“In the midfield I slipped and lost the ball, after which we conceded a goal. Then the coach refused to pick me, because of one mistake that I couldn’t do much about. I became very angry with him after that and it was over for me for Leeds. I wouldn’t play anymore under that coach.”
Final Season Grade: I
Incomplete. Under Christiansen never really got the chance to prove himself, but in Utrecht he showed that he can be productive given minutes. His time at Leeds would warrant a low grade, but he salvaged his season away at Utrecht. He’s coming back next year and looks to play a role in Bielsa’s scheme. A transition to CB could be in the works? It doesn’t seem crazy to me. Many have already talked about Bielsa’s tendency to play players in different positions in his scheme. Leeds are also thin on capable centerbacks, and giving Klich a shot at transitioning would also clear up the logjam Leeds have in the midfield.