Celtic striker Patryk Klimala's Falkirk omission only fuels exit speculation

By David Walton

April 4, 2021

Celtic striker Patryk Klimala’s future looks in real doubt after John Kennedy dropped him from the squad against Falkirk last night.

Klimala appears to be a man in-demand. Glasgow Times reporter Mark Hendry revealed towards the end of last week that the player’s agent had opened talks with New York Red Bulls over a permanent move.

This comes due to the fact the MLS transfer window is open until early June. New York, however, will kickoff their MLS campaign later this month. Therefore, there will almost certainly be a determination to get this deal done before then.

And yesterday’s decision to drop Klimala from the squad to face Falkirk in the Scottish Cup only adds further fuel to the fire. Indeed, despite making the previous 12 matchday squads beforehand, Klimala was bumped out for last night’s clash.

In came Albian Ajeti instead. The Swiss star managed to get some time on the pitch too. Interestingly, that came only two weeks after Kennedy had dropped him from the squad to face Rangers with Klimala getting a spot on the bench.

Yet despite constant exposure to the first-team squad, Klimala has seldom been used. In the previous 12 matchday squads he’s been a part of, he’s been given a total of 122 minutes. That’s less than three halves of football [Transfermarkt].

So it’s difficult to say the chances are there for Klimala. Despite costing the club a reported £3.5m in 2020 [Scottish Sun], the Polish Paddy hasn’t done anywhere near enough to pay that back. Granted, many will claim he hasn’t had the appropriate number of opportunities to do so.

However, it doesn’t read well for his long-term Celtic future after last night’s decision. The first squad he misses just happens to be in the same week speculation has picked up over his departure? And on a week where he wasn’t spotted in Celtic’s pre-match social media training video? It’s as if Klimala has just disappeared from first-team matters.

Not many will put their money on Klimala being reintroduced for Livingston’s visit next Saturday. In fact, it would be surprising from here on in if we managed to see him play another minute.

Patryk Klimala with ex-Celtic manager Neil Lennon (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Kennedy’s decision yesterday doesn’t help the speculation. Make no mistake, if he wanted Klimala in the squad then he would’ve been in the squad. That should be down to the manager alone with no outside interference. The fact he suddenly isn’t there suggests there’s something in these rumours.

If he does depart, it would symbolise yet another failure of the Nick Hammond-Neil Lennon era. A stark reminder of why we need proper change this summer in the first place. But it would also be a touch disappointing given he’s shown flashes of quality on occasion.

Unfortunately, however, you simply can’t argue with his stats. Three goals and one assist in 28 appearances. And all in the space of a 15-month period. It’s nowhere near good enough for a first-choice Celtic striker.

In other news, Tom Rogic earned plenty of praise for his performance last night, but we discuss his main Celtic demon.