Mateusz Klich was apparently very close to moving to the United States and joining MLS this past summer, but ended up staying at Leeds United instead.
The 29 year-old Poland international said that he was glad he stayed at Leeds, because it has allowed him to be recalled to the Poland national team for the first time in four years.
Mateusz Klich was "very close" to leaving #Leeds this summer.#lufc #MOT https://t.co/1Z2iI7MO8k— YEP Sport (@YEPSportsdesk) September 7, 2018
Klich told SportoweFakty (as quoted by the Yorkshire Evening Post):
Over time, I realised that it could be getting harder to receive a call-up (to the national squad). I was very close to a transfer to the United States and it would probably have been a nail in the coffin. In the end, I didn’t leave, which I’m happy about.
I’m in the best shape I’ve ever had in my life. A lot has changed: I have seen a lot, learned a lot and drew a lot of conclusions. At the beginning of my football adventure, I did not take a few things seriously – even food. It’s only recently that I realised just how important it is for a football player
Klich has been a key part of the Leeds squad under Marcelo Bielsa, having impressed enough during preseason to go from being outside of the first team to ending up in the starting XI. And once he’s been in the starting XI, he’s been a force, scoring three goals and adding an assist.
Klich didn’t say which team in the United States he was close to joining, but it was certainly in MLS. A number of teams were active during the summer transfer window. For example, former Everton and Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney joined D.C. United, and a number of other lower-profile moves were completed.
An obvious landing spot for Klich would have been the Philadelphia Union, as their General Manager (American version of a Director of Football) Earnie Stewart had been technical director for both NAC Breda and AZ Alkmaar in The Netherlands before coming to the US in 2015. However, the Union would not have been in the market for another central midfielder, as they already have a strong midfield with Borek Dockal, Alejandro Bedoya, and Haris Medunjanin, all experienced former internationals.
It’s turned out for the best for both Klich and Leeds that he’s stayed, with Klich getting recalled to the Poland squad and Leeds flourishing in the league, with Klich grabbing a starting spot that he looks unlikely to surrender anytime soon. His current success, and recall to the national team, make his exclusion from the squad by former coach Thomas Christiansen even more puzzling.