By George Overhill

5th Jan, 2023 | 3:40pm

Kalvin Phillips reacts to Leeds transfer news as Phil Hay shares Mateusz Klich update

Mateusz Klich’s emotional exit from Leeds United has drawn a heartfelt reaction from former teammate Kalvin Phillips.

The Athletic’s Phil Hay posted an update on Twitter on Wednesday night (4 January), saying that the Polish midfielder had been released from his Whites contract pending a move to DC United in MLS.

That came after the club paid tribute to their long-time fan-favourite following the 2-2 draw with West Ham at Elland Road, which left Klich in tears after his final appearance off the bench.

Commenting on the 32-year-old’s typically honest departure message on his Instagram page, Manchester City midfielder Phillips wrote: “Absolute [GOAT] it’s been a pleasure mate.”

Klich leaves having made 195 appearances for Leeds United, scoring 24 goals and registering 21 assists, and was a huge part of the club’s long-awaited return to the Premier League.

Emotional

In hindsight perhaps he should have gone in the summer window and perhaps then he would have made it to the World Cup in Qatar.

Under Jesse Marsch, Klich has been a fairly regular contributor off the bench but is no longer the key man he once was, and while the American has admitted he isn’t entirely comfortable losing the Pole at this stage of the season he can’t guarantee him more playing time.

Phillips and Klich will both forever hold a special place in the hearts of many Whites fans thanks to their central roles in the Marcelo Bielsa side that brought the club back to the top flight.

So with both now no longer at the club it is truly a new era, and one that holds a great deal of uncertainty in the short-term future.

There is a lot to like about the current side, with Tyler Adams’ arrival as successor in the midfield one of the current positives, but with Premier League survival looking likely to remain in question for the remainder of the season once again and an imminent takeover on the cards there doesn’t look to be an end to the upheaval any time soon.

Klich won’t quickly be forgotten, but it is vital that some of the current key men step up to forge a similar reputation to him now.

In other Leeds United news, a major first-team exit could be difficult to avoid very soon.