Mateusz Klich excited by 'unbelievably good' Leeds United boost for Manchester United opener

Mateusz Klich cannot wait for Leeds United’s Premier League opener at Manchester United which will mark the ultimate reunion with Whites fans in the stands.

By Lee Sobot
Saturday, 31st July 2021, 4:45 am
REUNION: On the cards for Mateusz Klich, above, with Leeds United's fans in the Premier League opener at Manchester United. Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images.
REUNION: On the cards for Mateusz Klich, above, with Leeds United's fans in the Premier League opener at Manchester United. Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images.

Klich has had to wait longer than most to be cheered on by his club’s supporters in a competitive game and last stepped out in a league game featuring fans in March 2020 as Leeds beat Huddersfield Town at Elland Road.

After the country then dealt with over a year of tough coronavirus restrictions, the Whites finally welcomed back the permitted amount of fans to Elland Road for the 2020-21 season finale against West Brom. But Klich’s league campaign had already ended.

The midfielder was granted early leave by head coach Marcelo Bielsa ahead of this bid for glory with Poland at Euro 2020 and also missed United’s penultimate game of the season at Southampton which featured home supporters in the St Mary’s stands. And a fair few Leeds.

Klich at least got to play in front of fans at this summer’s European Championships and only wishes Poland’s adventure could have extended beyond the Group stages.

But Klich’s next adventure with his club will begin in two weeks’ time and the midfielder is relishing the prospect of being reunited with his side’s supporters in the biggest away fixture that there is.

Old Trafford is set to be full as Leeds face their arch rivals over the opening weekend of the season and Klich hopes their presence will also lead to a rather different conclusion to when the Red Devils blitzed Leeds 6-2 last December.

“I remember the last time we played there, it wasn’t a really good game,” said Klich, speaking to BBC Radio Leeds.

“But it’s a good game to start. It’s the Premier League there are no easy games to play.

“I think a very important part is that fans are back in the stadium and this is going to make this game even bigger.

“I just can’t wait to see Old Trafford filled with the fans and especially with our fans because our away fans are unbelievably good.

“At the Euros it wasn’t full but we had fans in the stadium which was a bit weird to play with the fans in the stadium but good.

"I missed the two last games of the season. They let me go so I couldn’t play with the fans in the Premier League yet so I can’t wait.”

Reflecting on this summer’s Euros, Klich reasoned: “I did enjoy them but obviously we could have done better. Our goal was to go through the group stage which we couldn’t do.

“I think the first game kind of killed us because we were on top of the Slovakia team and we lost a goal and then we scored to make it 1-1.

"They were getting really tired and we felt on the pitch that we would be able to win it and then we got a red card which kind of killed the game and then obviously we conceded a goal so it was a tough game.

"The second game against Spain was really good, we could have won and the third game we had to win and we lost a goal in the second minute so it was tough.

"But it was a good experience and I just hoped before the Euros that we could play a little bit longer than three games.”

Klich added: “I was kind of happy with how I played but football is a team game, a team sport and we had one point in the group stage so no one really played well.

“Even Lewandowski who scored two goals in the last game, even for him it’s probably not a successful Euros.”

It was, though, a very successful Euros for United’s England international midfielder Kalvin Phillips, despite the heartbreaking end of defeat in the Euro 2020 final on penalties to Italy.

Asked about meeting back up with the Yorkshire Pirlo upon the return to pre-season training with Leeds, Klich said: “It was just a media day so I saw him and everyone was there at the same time.

“I told him that he had been unlucky."

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Thank you Laura Collins