Patryk Klimala has been tipped to shine – from an unlikely source – after the Polish international continues to impress in pre-season following his £3.5million move in January.
The striker has had few chances to impress since he arrived but Alan Hutton, speaking to Football Insider, feels that due to Leigh Griffiths absence from the first-team, the door has been opened for him.
So what has Hutton said?
Asked if Klimala is perfectly placed to capitalise from Griffiths’s absence, he said:
“Exactly, perfect – this is what we’re talking about. One person’s downfall is another person’s gain and that’s basically what’s happened.
“There’s a boy that signed in January for a decent fee, didn’t really get a run of games but thought: ‘Here’s my chance’. He’s worked hard over lockdown, by all accounts he’s come back, filled out a little bit and you’ve got a striker who was on top form but hasn’t looked after himself.
“He’s taken his opportunity, there’s definitely a place there to play alongside Edouard and he’s going for it. It’s a shame to see for Griffiths and Scotland but he’s kind of let himself down and let Klimala come in through the back door.”
So is Hutton correct?
Absolutely, £3.5m might not be a lot of money in terms of the Premier League, but for Scottish football its remains a sizeable fee and as yet, Klimala has yet to repay any of it, mainly due to the form of Griffiths in 2020 it has to be said though.
With Neil Lennon favouring two strikers in his formation, Klimala couldn’t ask for a better opportunity than to play alongside someone like Odsonne Edouard who, despite only being 22-years old himself, is the perfect example of patience being a virtue having seen his path to the first-team blocked by Moussa Dembele and Griffiths when he arrived on loan from PSG.
The fortunes of the two strikers competing for the slot alongside Edouard couldn’t be more contrasting with Klimala earning plaudits for his fitness levels on returning to training at the club whilst Griffiths returned unfit and overweight – one of the two deserves their chance, and it isn’t the player that’s had plenty already.