Patryk Klimala’s role has been difficult to define, but BBC pundit Pat Bonner has stated his belief that he’s “one for the future”.

When Klimala arrived in a £3.5million deal from Jagiellonia Bialystok (Scottish Sun), he seemed a ready-made replacement for Leigh Griffiths.

However, Griffiths has responded to his signing with three goals in our first four post-winter break games. Klimala, meanwhile, has only managed two cameo appearances as he’s been rooted to the bench.

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Celtic forward Leigh Griffiths

Celtic forward Leigh Griffiths (George Wood/Getty Images)

And after watching his second substitute outing, Bonner has told the BBC that he believes Klimala may be one for the long-term (BBC Scottish Football Podcast, 29/01, 08:25).

“I can’t judge him yet. I’ve seen him a couple of times coming on for a little flurry near the end of the game. He’s not the biggest, he looks quick enough. But it’s very difficult to judge him.

“I know in Poland from speaking to people that it’s only last year he really made a big impact. So he looks like a player they could rely on but it looks like one for the future.

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“You don’t know what’s going to happen to Edouard over the summer-time. Is he snapped up by somebody? But Klimala needs to get games, and it’s difficult to get into that team at the moment.”

Klimala has to be for the here and now

There is absolutely no way that Klimala was signed with the intention of only making an impact in the long-term. If he was then that shouldn’t have been the case.

The Polish forward hasn’t had much in the way of game-time, but it’s more just down to timing than anything else. Griffiths, unfortunately, can’t be dropped anytime soon so long as he keeps sticking the ball in the net.

Klimala looks like he’s going to have to be patient – that much is certain. Yet, at the same time, this idea of him being “for the future” is a dangerous tag to put on him. It’s the kind of tag that at times gets put on players who haven’t made an impact.

Celtic forward Patryk Klimala

Celtic forward Patryk Klimala (Joachim Sielski/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Also, with £3.5m of our transfer cash being spent on him, he wasn’t signed as some sort of project buy. He shouldn’t be dropping down to the development team, for example. So it’s surprising to hear Bonner talk about him being a player who was signed to make an impact in the future.

Sure, there are two ways of looking at it. You could look at Bonner’s comments and think that he means he’s one for both now AND the long-term. But shouldn’t that be the way every signing is viewed? Every player is signed with the goal being to have an impact in the medium to long-term.

So hopefully Klimala gets plenty of games between now and the end of the season in order for us to see what he’s got. If Griffiths and Edouard’s form is anything to go by, however, that may not be a while.

 

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