Who is Celtic's new £3.5m striker Patryk Klimala - 'Devil' nickname | Next Lewandowski | Blistering pace | Off-field antics

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The lowdown on Polish striker Patryk Klimala who completed his move to Celtic from Jagiellonia Bialystok

Fearful nickname

Patryk Klimala is in Glasgow to complete his move to Celtic. Picture: SNS

Patryk Klimala is in Glasgow to complete his move to Celtic. Picture: SNS

British football doesn't quite do nicknames like elsewhere in Europe or South America. It is often a case of adding a 'y' or 'o' to the end of the surname. Imagination and originality is not easy to find. Sometimes there are, however, notable ones such as 'Dissa' for ex-Hearts player Neil Pointon.

However, Celtic are welcoming the 'Devil' to Parkhead.

Klimala revealed that the moniker has been passed down from his grandfather via his father to him and admits "there are still demons in me".

No need to worry Celtic fans, as the striker explains: "This element of the devil exists, but now it has a positive change in me.”

Big move

In 2014, aged just 15 he made the move from local side Lechia Dzierżoniów in Lower Silesia to Polish giants Legia Warsaw.

The transfer involved a huge change, as he switched his home town of Świdnica near the Czech border to the Polish capital more than 400km away. It was a move which wouldn't work out.

Off-field antics

The popular clip of Grandpa Simpson walking into an establishment, taking off his hat, putting it on the cloak stand, walking in a circle, picking up the hat and walking back out again epitomises Klimala's time at Legia.

In fact, as he says, there is even a saying from the region he grew up in for such a situation: ‘Hello and hat’.

He would find himself back with Dzierżoniów by 2016 after he had his contract terminated with Legia Warsaw.

It followed a night out at a club with team-mates with claims that the striker, then a teenager, was drunk - something which he denies.

The player has admitted to going out regularly but felt the decision to end his deal was harsh

He said: “We met a person from Legia who told the club that I was drunk - which I wasn’t - in the disco. And he didn’t mention the fact there were 12 other players there.

“The club’s decision was quick, they informed me that I should leave. Together with my dad, it was decided that my contract should be terminated."

Settled

Klimala popping up in Glasgow's clubs and bars is not something Celtic fans should have to worry about. Advice from his father, plus meeting his fiancée Milena changed his life, he admits.

The club are getting a striker focused on his career and doing everything he can to be a success.

Confidence

One thing the 21-year-old hasn't struggled with is confidence. Earlier in his career he had a certain bravado which had to be tempered by his club Jagiellonia Bialystok.

Following comments in the media about his standing in the country, regarding himself as a top-flight player, despite a loan with second tier Wigry Suwalki, he had to come out and retract what he had said.

However, this is a player who rates himself, and such self-confidence, bordering on arrogance, will be beneficial to playing at a club like Celtic where you need to puff your chest out and be brave.

It fits into what he has been saying this month about not wanting to a be a back-up player.

"First of all, I don't want to be the fourth choice, only the first," he said. "I want to develop, so I will also choose a league that will give me that. If someone wants me and it is a good option, I will go and fight for my own."

In demand

Celtic were not the only side to be linked with Klimala. The Scottish champions' Europa League opponents-in-waiting FC Copenhagen were interested, as were Genoa. The Serie A side are familiar with finding gems in the Polish market, having recruited Krzysztof Piatek from Cracovia.

Piatek is from the same region as Klimala and is now playing with AC Milan after a €35 million move.

Lewandowski comparisons

“I think most people expect him to be the striker who replaces [Robert] Lewandowski in the national team."

Talk about tempering expectations. Former Celtic striker Maciej Zurawski went the other way and will likely have the Parkhead fans salivating at the prospect of having someone of such potential in their ranks.

While Zurawski made it known Klimala isn't the "finished article", there is real hope he will reach a high level.

“That [replacing Lewandowski] won’t happen just now, because Lewandowski is still one of the best players in the world. It will be very hard for him to start for Poland at the moment.

“But there is no reason why he won’t in the future if he keeps improving at the rate he is just now.”

Style of play

Now, the thing which matters most, what kind of striker will Celtic be getting?

Firstly, as noted above, Klimala has plenty of potential. He gained first-team experience in the Polish second tier two seasons ago, hitting 13 goals in 23 starts. After a bit-part role last term with Jagiellonia, he has led the line this campaign, starting 12 of 20 league games, scoring seven times in the Ekstraklasa.

Klimala is an out-and-out striker, that's for sure. He plays on the shoulder of the last defender, constantly looking to make runs in behind to make use of his blistering pace. When a pass isn't released, he'll check and arc his run to get back onside to then offer another option.

This lightning pace can be seen in a goal he scored in a 3-2 win over Cracovia back in October. The opposition had pushed right up the park, meaning there were acres of space to run into. A pass from deep saw Klimala open up his legs getting to the through ball before the advancing goalkeeper while staying ahead from the defender putting pressure on.

Such space will be likely hard to come by when playing for Celtic against deep and compact defences domestically.

He is certainly not averse to coming short to link with the midfield, in fact it is something which he is more than willing to do. When the ball is played into him he either looks to play it first time or at least as quickly as possible. It is also an area which will likely develop with more experience and coaching, as to when to hold the ball in and bring the team up the park and when to try and play a flick or first time pass.

Klimala will unlikely force Odsonne Edouard out of the striking position in the short term. There is still a rawness to his play. He has that striker's selfishness in the final third, putting his head down, rather than getting it up.

But there is a certainly plenty potential. Otherwise, why would Celtic be doing such a deal.

Stats:

• Goals per 90 minutes - 0.55

• xG (expected goal) per 90 - 0.49

• Assists per 90 - 0.24

• Shots per goal - 5.7

• Shot accuracy - 57.5 per cent (second highest)

• Offside per 90 - 1.49 (highest)

• Touches in the box per 90 - 5.43 (third highest)

• Key pass per 90 (creates a really good opportunity for a team-mate - 0.79 (top 10)