So, Patryk Klimala could be on his way to New York Red Bulls, according to the Daily Record.
You’d expect that a striker with as many bookings as goals for Celtic might leave for a loss [Transfermarkt]. That, a misfiring striker isn’t the most valuable resource, especially to a club with a major rebuild ahead. Yet, the Record are reporting that NYRB are keen to spend £3.5m on Klimala.
The Polish 22-year-old just couldn’t progress at Celtic Park. He had a couple of opportunities, most notably against Rangers last October [BBC]. However, the former Poland youth international just wasn’t trusted by either Neil Lennon or John Kennedy. The return to a one-striker formation over the last few weeks seems to be further indication that the options behind Odsonne Edouard just aren’t good enough.
Because, Patryk Klimala is by no means alone in flattering to deceive. The ex-Jagiellonia Bialystok striker could well come good, still. You just sense, like Albian Ajeti, it won’t be at Celtic Park. Both were ill-advised signings at best: Klimala, for his part, has only reached double-figures twice in a season. Once in youth football, and once in Poland’s third-tier.
Yet, MLS scouts clearly see something we don’t. In the space of a few short months, Cameron Harper, Andrew Gutman and now Partryk Klimala could leave us for the same club. It’s a strange set of circumstances, but a one-out-of-three “I’d have kept him” average means we’re doing great business.
Patryk Klimala just never looked comfortable in a Celtic jersey
Let’s be clear; Klimala was mismanaged. We’re not sure of what role he was advertised when he signed in January 2020 [BBC]. Whether he was told he’d be playing alongside Edouard, or eventually replacing him, is unknown to us. Certainly, his physical development between seasons indicates that he was training to compete for first-team minutes.
Adding muscle to his frame, the pacy Polish hitman clearly had his heart in it. And in fairness to him, he did show some solid parts to his game. His running between defenders and improved physical presence made him a handful in the small number of matches he played for Celtic. But a prolific striker? Nowhere near.
So, to recoup the entirety of what was paid is an absolute no-brainer. No harm to him, but it’s just best for all parties to move on. In New York, he’ll be able to live in one of the most vibrant cities in the Western world. Good performances will endear him to the Red Bull network of teams, which is an incentive, too.
From Celtic’s point of view, they’re on the brink of finishing some fantastic negotiations. If the club can come out financially unscathed from a very risky gamble in 2020, then it should give us at least a modicum of hope when it comes to cutting a deal for our more established stars.