Leeds United fans took to Twitter to record their disappointment at the performance of Polish midfielder Mateusz Klich, after the player struggled in a comfortable EFL Cup victory over Newport County last night.
The arrival of the 27-year-old from FC Twente in June had excited Peacocks fans, who had expected the player to shine at Championship level. However, Klich suffered an injury that ruled him out of the majority of the teamâ€™s pre-season preparations.
Judging by the midweek performance, the former-Kaiserslautern player needs more time to adjust to the English game and to reach full fitness. He was often slow and laborious in possession and frequently looked off the pace.
On one occasion in the second half, the Leeds summer signing had the opportunity to grab his first goal for the Whites as the ball fell to him on the edge of the box but he hesitated, took one touch too many and allowed the defender to intervene before he could pull the trigger. Klich compounded his misery by earning a booking for shirt-pulling towards the end of the game.
Leeds recovered from a slow start to eventually register a comfortable 5-1 home victory over a League Two side that threatened an upset during a close-fought first half.
Newport took a surprising yet deserved lead in the 33rd minute after Rob Green had inexplicably allowed Joss Labadieâ€™s speculative effort to bounce over his despairing dive.
Last seasonâ€™s top-scorer Chris Wood left the club in a Â£15 million move to Burnley earlier this week and the Peacocks were looking for someone to assume goal-scoring responsibilities.
Kemar Roofe stepped up to the plate, grabbing the equaliser just before half time after the visitors had failed to clear a corner kick. The 24-year-old then fired in his second goal of the game in the 49th minute to edge Leeds in front, before completing his hat trick with a spectacular bicycle kick with 25 minutes to play.
Substitute Samu Saiz and midfielder Ronaldo Vieira added two further goals towards the end, to add gloss to a score that was perhaps a little harsh on the visitors.
Leeds boss Thomas Christiansen will be delighted with the goal-scoring exploits of Roofe, though he would still like to add extra quality to his attacking options before the window closes at the end of the month.
However, he may need to be patient with Klich. The Pole has excellent pedigree, having represented his country ten times and impressed in the Eredivisie with Twente, and possesses the characteristics to succeed at Elland Road but fans may need to wait while he adjusts to the English game.
The best reactions from Leeds fans on Twitter can be found below:
— Mick (@leedsbelly) August 22, 2017
— Andy Firth (@AndrewFirth21) August 22, 2017
Just wondering if Bridcutt was a better option than Klich. Personally don't think Klich can cut it #lufc
— Johnny F (@JF_LUFCmod) August 22, 2017
Only player that may have forced his way into the starting 11 last night was Roofe. Klich, Vieira and Green did themselves no favours #lufc
— Peter Daglish (@peter_daglish) August 23, 2017
I'm getting the general feeling that Klich is definitely the Grimes of 17/18 #LUFC
— Mr Glassalfempty (@DRobinson92) August 22, 2017
Whats the story with Klich,was expecting a bit more so far, know injury hasn't helped but still #lufc
— Barry Dunne (@BazDunne) August 22, 2017
Gomes not grabbed his opportunity. Vieira and Klich also had chance to boss this game and have been poor #LUFC
— Scott Sadler (@sadler2511) August 22, 2017
Steady is the word I'd use, a few bursts for midfield but didn't look massively match fit yet
— King Billy (@LeedsUnited97) August 23, 2017
— Mark Worsnop (@worsnop_m) August 22, 2017
Harsh on Klich. He wasn't that bad, better than Stokes I thought who had a higher rating.
— 🙂 (@Max_LUFC) August 22, 2017
Felt like klich and RV wanted to prove a point going forward and left them running straight at our back 4. TC sorted it though
— ian royal (@Lufc_royal) August 22, 2017
Klich – 6 – Looked a step ahead in the first half but a bit distant in the second. Too early to judge him. #lufc
— AllWhiteStrip (@AllWhiteStripLU) August 22, 2017