THE flipside of Mateusz Klich’s incredible transformation in a Leeds United shirt this season is Adam Forshaw.
Signed last January from Middlesbrough, the midfielder provided a ray of sunshine in an otherwise bleak second half of last season at Elland Road.
While his new team-mates stumbled their way through those final few months under, first, Thomas Christiansen and then Paul Heckingbottom, Forshaw looked the real deal.
When new head coach Marcelo Bielsa arrived in the summer and quickly pinpointed Forshaw for an advanced midfield role it seemed the Liverpudlian was all set for a big season.
Then came the broken toe in August that handed Klich a chance he has taken so impressively that the Pole has started all 12 league games.
Forshaw, since returning to fitness, has had to be content with being brought off the bench in the last six games.
I have got to bide my time but I feel like I am gaining fitness more and more. Hopefully, I can contribute.Leeds United’s Adam Forshaw
“It has been frustrating,” said the 26-year-old. “I came back in pre-season, looked after myself and felt really sharp and fit.
“My intensity was there, but it is one of those things unfortunately.
“I broke a bone in my foot and you have just got to get on with it. But I do feel to be getting back to my level now,
“Fair play, ‘Klichy’ got a chance and took it.
“That is a lesson for everyone. You get your chance and take it, that is how it is.
“I have got to bide my time, but I feel like I am gaining fitness more and more. Hopefully I can contribute.”
Forshaw may have been forced to spend seven or so weeks on the sidelines before returning in the 1-1 draw at Millwall midway through last month.
But he has seen enough of Bielsa to appreciate just how much of a coup Leeds pulled off by luring the Argentinian to the Championship.
“I love the game,” added Forshaw. “I watch a lot of football, which my wife doesn’t enjoy. It is just that I love it and am obsessed with the game.
“He is just a perfectionist and wants everything done professionally and right. As players, we would be stupid not to be a sponge and learn from his vast experience. Taking little things from him is only going to prove valuable for us.”