Derby County face a daunting task when they travel to Leeds United this weekend, but new summer signing Krystian Bielik could hold the cards for a positive Rams result.
The midfielder joined the Rams from Arsenal in a deal worth a potential £10 million.
Bielik has shown plenty of promise so far. However, a lack of fitness and pre-season has meant he is playing catch up and Derby haven’t seen the best of him yet.
Leeds this weekend will pose a big challenge for the Rams. The Whites currently top the Championship table, and they will be out for revenge for that memorable playoff encounter.
Underrated Mateusz Klich gets Leeds United moving:
Many will point to the likes of Pablo Hernandez and Patrick Bamford as the two danger men. But, so far this season, it seems its Mateusz Klich who really gets Leeds moving.
The 29-year-old finds pockets in midfield and loves to drive forward. No Championship player averages more key passes per league encounter than Klich’s three this season.
Bielsa seems like a big fan of the player, and it’s understandable why. Derby, meanwhile, were on the end of a Klich masterclass as he scored during the 4-1 Pride Park win a year ago.
But this time around, the Rams might have an answer to stop him. Few opponents will know the Leeds man better than his fellow Poland international Bielik.
The Derby man, now being deployed as a midfielder, will likely be tasked to shackle him at Elland Road. Bielik is physically more imposing, and he has the legs get to get about.
The former Arsenal man averages 2.2 tackles per game. Against Leeds, that must be higher.
Nullifying the Leeds midfield is what helped Derby produce that amazing comeback at Elland Road. On Saturday, Phillip Cocu’s side will seek a similar approach and Bielik’s contribution will be defining in their bid for success.