Mateusz Klich reveals how close he was to leaving Leeds United - instead he's now a record holder

Mateusz Klich has admitted that he was "very close" to leaving Leeds United last summer but revealed that "unfinished business" at the club ensured he remained.

Friday, 10th May 2019, 10:56 pm
Leeds United midfielder Mateusz Klich.

The 28-year-old spent the second half of last season on loan in the Eredivisie with FC Utrecht after falling out of favour under former boss Thomas Christiansen.

Following his loan spell he returned to Thorp Arch under new head coach Marcelo Bielsa but has now admitted he was unsure whether his future remained in West Yorkshire.

Klich, though, took his opportunity in pre-season and earned a spot in the Argentine's final United squad for the campaign after a number of strong displays.

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The Pole's remarkable turnaround was complete last weekend at Ipswich Town as he became only the fourth player in the club's history to start every league fixture throughout the season.

Ten goals and eight assists across the campaign saw him become a fan favourite, even earning himself his very own song on the terraces.

Things, though, could have been very different for the midfielder, as he explained: "I was very close to leaving," Klich told LUTV.

"When I was on loan last year at Utrecht. I spoke to (Paul) Heckingbottom and Victor (Orta), they both wanted me back.

"Utrecht wanted me to stay. I said it's not my choice because I am a Leeds United player and they want me to come back.

"I was very happy because I had unfinished business here. I wanted to play here. But then Marcelo Bielsa came.

"He made three groups. The first group was players who he wanted to stay. The second group was players he wasn't sure on and the third group were players he didn't want.

"I was in the middle group. I wasn't sure what was going to happen, I could have a season like I have had now or I could have been playing somewhere else.

"I was close. I was looking for some other opportunities to play but it turned out good.

"I'm happy because I always wanted to stay here. That's why I signed here, to play for Leeds."

Klich will now attempt to help the Whites navigate the Championship play-offs as they search to join Sheffield United and Norwich City in the Premier League.

United travel to Derby County in the first leg of their semi-final clash with the Rams on Saturday evening, with a sell-out crowd waiting at Pride Park.

"The worst thing is waiting," he conceded.

"We wanted to play this game as soon as possible. It's our second chance because we missed out on automatic promotion.

"We want to go to the Premier League. I think we showed this season that we deserved it but we need to win three games.

"Personally, I can't wait. I remember a good last game at Derby, I scored and we won.

"This time is going to be different. It'll be more difficult because we beat them twice in the league but play-offs is play-offs.

"They are in good form. But let's go, everyone is waiting for this."