Performance In Numbers

74% passing accuracy: Leeds United ace rekindles past form to show why transfer should never be discussed

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Leeds United midfielder Mateusz Klich scored his first goals in 12 months as he helped the side beat Barnsley 3-1 last night.

Leeds’ start to the Premier League this season has given Jesse Marsch a brilliant selection dilemma, knowing that he has a far stronger squad to choose from after his summer business.

However, those that were on the cusp of starting last season now see more competition in front of them, including Mateusz Klich, who has seen the lightning start of Brenden Aaronson give him little chance of getting in the starting lineup.

He got his chance, though, when the Whites welcomed Barnsley to Elland Road last night in the League Cup, and he took it emphatically.

Leeds haven’t seen the very best from Klich since the first few weeks of our first Premier League season, and with the licence to stay in an attacking position, he flourished against the Tykes.

Klich, like Leeds in general, got into his groove halfway through the second half as the goals started to flow, where he got off the mark for the season in the same manner as his last goal against Barnsley, doubling the lead by sending the ‘keeper the wrong way with the same arrogant penalty style:

It was one of two shots (both on target) that the midfielder managed, and his other was a goal too, as he restored the breathing space for Leeds in the second half after a brief scare before the interval.

Where Klich impresses in an attacking sense is that he has always been great at finding space around the edge of the box, whether he has his back to goal or is arriving into the area.

This time, he picked up a loose ball to coolly place it into the top corner past Jack Walton:

It was a game where Klich was always at the forefront of what Leeds were building in attack, something that was needed when the youngsters around him might have struggled for proper cohesion.

Playing in the number 10 role, his 74% passing accuracy (via Wyscout) was an outstanding figure, managing 54 out of 74 passes largely in the opposition half.

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Klich wasn’t and hasn’t ever been known for beating a man or utilising wicked pace to get into good positions, with only 2/4 dribbles completed, but it further highlights how important his movement off the ball was, as well as how well he moved it.

He could have added an assist to his tally too as he slipped Sam Greenwood through at 2-0, only for the midfielder to hit his shot at Walton 1-on-1.

Klich, as ever, was a livewire without possession too, making eight recoveries, with five of them being in the opposition half.

It might not see him muscle Aaronson out of the lineup for Brighton and beyond, but Klich’s display in attacking midfield will be great for him heading towards the World Cup, while proving that he has what it takes to orchestrate things for us still.

Talk of a move away was snuffed out as quick as it built up earlier in August, and Marsch’s answer on the matter should be proof that his start to the season has ruled out letting him leave any time soon (via Phil Hay):

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Leeds United season ticket holder since 2013/14, currently situated in the middle of the FA5 noise. From Pablo Hernandez to 5-1 drubbings, I've seen it all at Elland Road.