Leeds United centre-back Pascal Struijk has been tipped to be a regular starter for the Whites next season, as he continues to develop impressively.
Leeds snapped up the centre-back from Ajax back in January 2018 and he has since gone on to become a key part of Marcelo Bielsa’s plans at Elland Road.
Struijk tipped for starring role for Leeds
Still only 21 years of age, the future looks bright for the centre-back and that’s certainly the way former Leeds striker Noel Whelan sees it.
Speaking to Football Insider, the ex-Whites man went as far as to say that Struijk will be a key starter for Bielsa’s men in 2021/22:
“I mean he’s getting recognition from the Belgian national side under Martinez. That shows enough progress and potential to the manager and Leeds United to how important this kid is to us.
“He’s got a great future ahead of him. He’s aggressive, he’s dominant in the air and he’s got two good feet. He keeps getting better and better in that position.
“Struijk’s only going to get better as well now that Koch and Llorente are fit.
“He’s training next to them and he’ll be having a look at them. They’ll be getting to know each other a little bit better on the training ground. That will then progress on to first-team level on match day.
“There are lots of positives with him. He’s definitely, for me, one, that should be pushing to start the season next year.”
Transfer Tavern take
Struijk is a hugely promising young defender – one who former Leeds man Dominic Matteo recently claimed has ‘got it all’ as a player.
He has enjoyed an 85.7 percent pass completion rate in the league this season, showing that he can thrive in Bielsa’s ball-playing style, not to mention also averaging 1.9 tackles and interceptions apiece per match, excelling in his defensive work.
Struijk will have to keep working hard in order to oust the likes of Diego Llorente, Liam Cooper and Robin Koch, but Whelan’s comments suggest the club have a ready-made replacement for Cooper in the long term, who is set to turn 30 this year.
In other news, one Leeds favourite is set to be offered a new deal at the club. Find out who it is here.
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