Leeds are set to announce that they’ve secured Mateusz Klich on a new long-term deal “imminently” and it’s yet more good news for the club after Kalvin Phillips, Stuart Dallas and Liam Cooper already committed their long-term futures to the club.
That would have been a hammer blow from a player who has been totally transformed under Marcelo Bielsa.
The 29-year-old was signed from FC Twente for £1.5m in the summer of 2017 but was shipped out on loan the following January after making just five Championship appearances.
Arriving back in Leeds as Marcelo Bielsa signed, his future was far from certain, but he went on to be the only player to play every single Championship game last season.
He’s played all league eight games this season, scoring a goal and registering an assist.
But those top-line stats don’t tell the story of Klich this season and why he’s such an essential player.
Klich was the best player on the pitch in the first game of the season against Nottingham Forest, with a rating of 7.46, and he’s bettered that score twice since with his highest rating coming against Barnsley (7.96). [WhoScored]
Towards the end of August, stats site All Stats Aren’t We highlighted that Klich was top of the league for total key passes and key passes per 90.
Klich ranks top of the league for total key passes (6) and key passes p90 (2.3). Wyscout doesn't list him on the rankings for second or third assists this season so far.
— All Stats Aren't We (@AllStatsArentWe) August 22, 2019
That was still the case after six games this season, with eight key passes in six Championship games meaning Klich had created more chances than any other player in the league.
He’s carried on putting in solid performances all season.
In the 2-0 win against Barnsley, his best performance of the season, he created four chances, had four shots and scored from the spot.
Mateusz Klich vs. Barnsley
89 mins played
87% pass acc.
48/55 successful passes
9 ball recoveries
4 chances created
2 tackles won
1 successful take-on
1 goal (penalty) ??
Worked tirelessly throughout. Cool as you like for the penalty pic.twitter.com/pz0rCafcL3
— LUFCDATA (@LUFCDATA) September 16, 2019
According to WyScout his attacking returns should be higher too.
Leeds aren’t taking the chances they should be this season. Klich has provided 0.13 assists every 90 minutes but his xA (expected assists) are 0.33 per 90. That’s nudging three assists that he should have had this season. When Leeds start converting their chances this should revert back to the norm.
However, Klich is guilty of that himself, with the exact same scenario playing out in goals – Klich has 0.13 goals per 90 minutes but an xG of 0.33.
There are plenty of Leeds fans who appreciate the job Klich is doing, with one saying he is “irreplaceable” and “underrated”.
The new Leeds contract will show he’s not underrated by everyone.
•Klich is now the best midfielder in the league (can be debated) after he was surplus and sent out on loan.
The guy has transformed a really average sqaud into the best in the league. He should have a top job in world football.???? #lufc
— Sam (@Iufcsammm) September 2, 2019
Klich is becoming irreplaceable now. Links things up between the lines so neatly. His first touch is impeccable 99% of the time, regardless of the quality of pass he receives, or whoever is surrounding him. He gets it under and lays it off. Dare I say he is underrated. #lufc
— – (@elyouefsey) September 16, 2019