Former Leeds United defender Dominic Matteo has discussed the performance of Pascal Struijk against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday night, saying the youngster looked ‘naive’.
Following the international break, Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa was handed quite the defensive setback as both Liam Cooper and summer signing Diego Llorente were ruled out for Monday’s tie against Wolves.
Playing alongside Robin Koch, the youngster was handed a tough task as he pitted himself against the likes of Raul Jimenez and Adama Traore, who came on a second half substitute for Wolves on Monday.
A 1-0 defeat for Leeds saw the club’s three-match unbeaten run come to an end, and former Whites defender Matteo has now given his assessment on the 21-year-old’s performance.
What did Matteo make of Pascal Struijk’s performance?
Writing in his weekly column for Yorkshire Evening Post, Matteo said:
“I actually think Pascal has done okay, he has maybe just been a little naive at times with his defending.
“Looking at the goal, yes he slipped and maybe picked up a knock at that moment, but he got back into a good position and he’s very eager to go and win that ball.
“Sometimes when you’re a young player you’re drawn into that and you need to be aware of who is around you, see who is near and in support and decide if you really need to go in and challenge.”
With Leeds’ next Premier League game coming against Aston Villa this coming Friday, news has emerged that Struijk could be ruled out through injury meaning youngsters Ollie Casey or Charlie Cresswell could be handed a chance by Marcelo Bielsa.
Can Pascal Struijk be judged solely on the performance against Wolves?
Given that Struijk is still very inexperienced at senior level, it is important to remain patient with the young defender.
Despite a lowly match rating of 6.16 out of 10 from WhoScored, the Belgian did not do too badly, considering the scoreline was a narrow one and the winning goal from Jimenez came after an unfortunate deflection from Kalvin Phillips.
Matteo says that Leeds may not feel ‘confident’ with Struijk at the back but that is natural, considering he has just been promoted from the first team. Further chances should be given by Bielsa and it will be interesting to see whether the defender can make himself a first team regular.
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