Mateusz Klich’s days as a Leeds United player are looking numbered after the latest snub he received last Saturday.
The £1.5 million summer signing has struggled to make an impact since joining the Elland Road club from FC Twente and has made only one league start in a Leeds shirt.
He has played in all four of United’s Carabao Cup games, the last of which came against Leicester City on October 24, but he has only been an unused substitute once since then.
The 27-year-old could have expected to at least have been on the bench for the Whites’ trip to Barnsley last weekend with Ronaldo Vieira suspended and Stuart Dallas injured, but was not involved in the matchday squad.
Eunan O’Kane was understandably chosen ahead of Klich for the starting line-up after playing a big part for the Whites this season before only recently finding himself on the bench. However, when the Irishman had to go off injured at Oakwell seeing rookie Conor Shaughnessy being brought on as a second half replacement despite being previously only used as a centre-half cannot have improved Klich’s mood.
With head coach Thomas Christiansen’s decision and another player who can play in midfield, Vurnon Anita, also on the bench at Barnsley it seems that despite being a Polish international Klich is effectively seen as the sixth choice now.
Short of a big turnaround in the next month it will now be a surprise if Klich does not look to make a swift exit to join another club when the next transfer window opens. At 27 he will not want to be a reserve for long, especially if he has to have a chance of forcing his way into the polish squad for next summer’s World Cup finals.
He has made his disappointment of not making the first team recently public via his Twitter account and Christiansen admitted he understands the midfielder’s feelings.
He said: “The thing is I have a good squad. I have to choose and leave players out. If anyone comes in, I have to take somebody else out.
“I’m thinking of possibilities during the game, if the score is up or down and what to do. This is why I take these decisions. Of course they will be disappointed. I would have been disappointed as well. But this is part of football. One moment you are out, the second you are in.”
Another of United’s summer signings, Samuel Saiz, has had no such difficulties in settling in and after another man of the match performance against Barnsley he came in for big praise from Leeds legend Eddie Gray for the way he is adapting his style for the English game.
After seeing Saiz open the scoring with his ninth goal of the season, Gray said: “What I like about him now is I think he has realised he has to be strong and he is battling with defenders and he is good at holding balls up.
“He is very, very clever, although he is not the tallest, at nudging defenders off the ball when it’s up in the air. I thought he was tremendous (against Barnsley). You’ve got a chance of creating and also got a chance of scoring (when he plays).”