Scout Report – Mateusz Klich
According to reports from Dutch outlet Voetbal International, EFL Championship side Leeds United are plotting a summer swoop for FC Twente midfielder Mateusz Klich.
The 26-year old Polish midfielder joined the Dutch side only last summer and had a good campaign in the Eredivisie. Klich finished the season with 6 goals and 4 assists from 29 games but could be bidding adieu just a year after his arrival, with Elland Road being the most likely destination.
With a deal likely to happen, let’s take a look at who exactly is Mateusz Klich and what will he be bringing to the table.
Born in Tarnow, Poland, on 13 June 1990, Klich joined up with local club Tarnovia Tarnow as a 9-year old in 1999. Four years later he moved to Cracovia Krakow where he rose through the ranks rapidly. His growing reputation earned him a first team debut in 2008 at Cracovia when he was 18-years old and he gradually went on to become a regular in the first-team.
Seeing his potential, German club VfL Wolfsburg signed Klich in the summer of 2011, for a fee reported to be in the range of €1.5 million, which made him the most valuable Cracovia player in the history of the club. He left the club, having made 58 appearances in which he scored 5 goals and assisted 12 more.
After joining up with Wolfsburg, Klich spent his first season with the reserve side, playing in the fourth tier and made just 9 appearances. Things did not improve for him in the following season as well and after 3 more games for the reserves, the midfielder joined Dutch side PEC Zwolle on loan in January 2013. He impressed by scoring and assisting two apiece in 13 Eredivisie games, which prompted the club to sign him permanently in the summer.
His first full season with PEC Zwolle turned out to be a success as he ended the campaign with 4 goals and 10 assists from 34 games. Having seen their former player excel, Wolfsburg decided to trigger a buy-back clause and brought Klich back in the summer of 2014. However, he once again failed to break into the first team and moved to Bundesliga 2 outfit FC Kaiserslautern in January 2015. In his year and a half with Kaiserslautern, Klich managed 23 first team appearances scoring 4 and setting up 2 before FC Twente came calling in the summer of 2016.
Having joined the Dutch side for free, Klich has grown into a vital part of the team that finished 7th in the Eredivisie.
Style of Play
The 26-year old is a central midfielder by trade but can play also play in an attacking role or in a withdrawn defensive midfield role as well.
A very good passer of the ball, Klich had an accuracy of 82% (1796 total passes) in the Eredivisie this past season and his 60 key passes throughout the season give an indication of his ability to create chances for his team from the middle of the park. His set-piece delivery into the box is known to be top notch and he chips in with important goals regularly.
What makes him valuable is that he is equally adept at performing his defensive duties for the team. An excellent tackler (79 successful out of 119 attempts), Klich is an equally good reader of the game, which allows him to make crucial interceptions and blocks in the defensive half. Last season, he made 66 interceptions and 50 blocks in the Eredivisie.
An all-round midfielder who is strong in both the attacking and defensive facets of the game, Klich could represent good value for money.
What Does The Future Hold?
It is no secret that Leeds’ midfield struggled as the season progressed. Captain Liam Bridcutt had a series of poor games in the business end of the season. Kalvin Phillips has always been under criticism, while Ronaldo Vieira is too young to be the leader in the middle of the park.
So, there is no doubt that they could use a quality addition to their set of midfielders and Klich could be the solution that they are looking for. Someone who can score and create from the deep midfield positions and with very good set-piece abilities, the 26-year old will contribute heavily going forward, while also rendering a defensive steel in the centre of the park. Signing him could prove to be a shrewd piece of business for the Whites.