Leeds ‘Great’ Who Epitomised Bielsa Would Be Perfect Now

By | April 28, 2023

Leeds United look to be one of the favourites for relegation from the Premier League after a torrid few weeks under Javi Gracia.

An injury to influential midfielder Tyler Adams has seemingly caused chaos at Elland Road, with the partnership of Weston McKennie and Marc Roca proving far too easy for opposition teams to play through in recent weeks.


As such, the Spanish manager has been forced to call upon the ageing midfielder Adam Forshaw on occasion this season, despite the 31-year-old struggling for game time throughout his time at the Yorkshire club.

Leeds said goodbye to one of their best midfielders in recent memory in Mateusz Klich in January and given their current woes in the middle of the park, Gracia may well be wishing that he could utilise the passionate Pole for the five remaining fixtures, as Leeds battle against relegation.

How did Klich perform at Leeds?

Leeds would sign the Polish midfielder from FC Twente in the summer of 2017 for an undisclosed fee, becoming the first signing of the Thomas Christiansen era at Elland Road.

He would muster just ten appearances in the first half of the season and was sent on loan to Utrecht in the Netherlands, which certainly didn’t bode well for his future in Yorkshire.

However, the arrival of Marcelo Bielsa in the summer of 2018 proved transformative for both club and player, as Klich contributed a hugely impressive ten goals and nine assists across 48 appearances in the Championship, featuring in every game as Leeds fell in the playoffs against Derby County.

He was similarly effective the following campaign as Leeds stormed to the Championship title, notching six goals and five assists from midfield, so it was no surprise when he kept his regular starting spot under the Argentine in the top flight.

Unfortunately, Klich’s performances would decline following the exit of Bielsa and he was used sparingly by Jesse Marsch, mustering just 266 minutes of Premier League action in the first half of this season before he was sold to D.C. United following an emotional send-off at Elland Road.

Soccer Football - Championship - Leeds United v Stoke City - Elland Road, Leeds, Britain - August 5, 2018 Leeds United's Mateusz Klich celebrates scoring their first goal Action Images/John Clifton EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or

Upon signing for Wayne Rooney’s side, the former England international described him as a “Leeds great” and a “leader,” which is arguably an attribute that is missing at the club right now as Gracia’s side slips down the table.

Sky Sports pundit David Prutton also dubbed him the “epitome” of Bielsa’s success at Leeds and it was a shame to see him depart before the end of the season, especially when he could have played more of a part.

With McKennie averaging a woeful 6.47 rating for his performances in the Premier League, while Klich has impressed in the MLS with one goal and three assists in just nine appearances, boasting a far better 7/10 average rating, Gracia will perhaps be wishing the 32-year-old fan favourite was still at Elland Road.

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