Why Leeds United's Mateusz Klich was left out of Poland squad for friendly and play-off final

Leeds United's Mateusz Klich was consulted on the decision to omit him from the Poland squad for this month's friendly against Scotland and the World Cup qualifying play-off final.

By Graham Smyth
Wednesday, 16th March 2022, 2:47 pm

Poland are due to face Scotland in a friendly on Thursday March 24 and then the winner of the Sweden and Czech Republic World Cup play-off semi-final on Tuesday March 29.

Klich, however, picked up yellow cards in the games against Andorra and Hungary and is due to serve a one-game suspension for the final. Poland were initially scheduled to face Russia but Klich and his team-mates made it clear they would boycott the game over the invasion of Ukraine, and FIFA latterly banned the Russians from involvement, handing Poland a bye.

Although Leeds' 31-year-midfielder could have featured in the Scotland friendly at Hampden Park, arranged after the postponement of the Scots' own play-off game against Ukraine, Poland boss Czesław Michniewicz decided not to call up him for the training camp.

Sign up to our Leeds United newsletter

The decision was taken in consultation with Klich, according to Polish Football Association media officer and national team manager Jakub Kwiatkowski.

"It was a common decision of player and coach not to call him up for the camp," he told the YEP.

"He is suspended for the final and coach would like to check other options with different players during the friendly. Our coach knows and appreciates Mateusz and he will certainly return to the national team in June for the nations league matches."

Michniewicz felt Klich's international break would be better served at Thorp Arch, where he continues to learn the ropes of new head coach Jesse Marsch's footballing philosophy.

KEY ROLE - Mateusz Klich, pictured being embraced aggressively by Leeds United head coach Jesse Marsch, will sit out the next two Poland internationals. Pic: Getty

Klich and Michniewicz first sat down together on February 9, before the former Legia Warsaw boss watched the Leeds man take on Poland team-mate Matty Cash at Villa Park in a 3-3 thriller.

That was the first of a series of meetings between Michniewicz, appointed as Paulo Sousa's replacement in January, and five of his England-based players, including Jan Bednarek of Southampton, Derby County's Krystian Bielik and Jakub Moder of Brighton.

Klich has featured in Leeds' last 16 Premier League outings and having started the first game of Marsch's tenure at Leicester City before dropping to the bench for the return fixture against Villa, was restored to the starting line-up against Norwich City. He, along with Adam Forshaw, played a key role as Marsch's central pair in a vital 2-1 win.