Patryk Klimala becomes the eighth Polish player to sign for Celtic

Patryk Klimala insists he is undaunted by the demands of playing for Celtic after sealing his £3.4 million move to the Scottish champions.
Patryk Klimala has signed a four-and-a-half year deal with Celtic. Picture: Alan Harvey / SNSPatryk Klimala has signed a four-and-a-half year deal with Celtic. Picture: Alan Harvey / SNS
Patryk Klimala has signed a four-and-a-half year deal with Celtic. Picture: Alan Harvey / SNS

The Polish under-21 international striker has signed a four-and-a-half year contract with Neil Lennon’s side, becoming their first signing of the January transfer window.

Klimala is relatively inexperienced, making just 40 top flight league appearances in his homeland for Jagiellonia Bialystok since joining them in 2016, but caught Celtic’s eye with seven goals in 15 games this season.

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The 21-year-old, who was also being tracked by Celtic’s forthcoming Europa League opponents Copenhagen, is confident he can hit the ground running for his new club as they prepare to resume their intense Premiership title battle with Rangers.

“I understand how massive a club Celtic is, but I feel I’m ready for this now,” said Klimala. “I’m looking forward to playing for a club with such a big history and I know Celtic are a huge club in Europe. I want to give fans a lot of happiness and hopefully score a lot of goals for Celtic.

“It’s a big moment for me and I’m very excited. I’m very happy to be here at such a massive club.

“The last 24 hours were intense. I was waiting for the decision to be finalised so I could finally come here and meet everyone. I had the chance to see the stadium and I felt the atmosphere. It was amazing so I’m looking forward to playing here in front of the fans.

“I’m very happy that everything is finished now and looking good.”

Klimala, who will be formally unveiled at a Celtic Park media conference this afternoon, becomes the eighth Polish player in the club’s history.

Winger Konrad Kapler, who had a brief spell at Parkhead in the 1940s, was the first before the popular duo of Dariusz Dziekanowski and Dariusz Wdowczyk were signed by Billy McNeill in 1989.

Gordon Strachan then brought goalkeeper Artur Boruc and striker Maciej Zurawski to the club in 2005, before the less successful captures of goalkeeper Lukasz Zaluska and forward Pawel Brozek.

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Zurawski, now a TV pundit in Poland, has tipped Klimala to be a hit at Celtic and has even suggested he could be a long-term successor to Robert Lewandowski for his national team.

“I haven’t spoken personally to Maciej Zurawski,” Klimala told Celtc TV. “But I read his interview in the press where he said some very nice things about me and said I was making the right choice. Hopefully I can have the chance to speak with him to thank him for his kind words.”

Celtic hope to add further recruits to Lennon’s squad this month and remain in the hunt for Ivory Coast midfielder Ismaila Soro. But they face competition for the 21-year-old, currently playing in Israel for Bnei Yehuda, from Belgian club Genk.