Former Leeds United midfielder Michael Brown has reacted to some early team news emerging ahead of tonight’s clash against Aston Villa.
Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa has a selection headache of the Premier League fixture against Dean Smith’s side, having had defensive midfielder Kalvin Phillip’s ruled out through injury. The England international suffered a shoulder problem against Wolves on Monday night and the Yorkshire club now expect him to be ruled out for up to six weeks.
Phillips, who has been excellent for Leeds this term, will be a big loss but Bielsa has seemingly revealed who will replace him against Villa.
A chance for Pascal Struijk to impress
Pascal Struijk, a defender by trade, was promoted from the club’s under-23 side over the summer and stepped in to replace Liam Cooper against Wolves, gaining himself a rating of 6.16 out of 10 by WhoScored.
After making his eighth first team appearance on Monday night, Bielsa is seemingly keen to hand him more chances, revealing that the 21-year-old would replace Phillips tonight.
Reacting to Bielsa’s early team news, Brown told Football Insider that the Argentine had made a ‘big call’.
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“So he did come out and say it in is presser – well, a big call,” the former Whites midfielder said.
“What’s great about Bielsa is he tells you straight away, tells you what’s happening. As a player, it gives you the faith.
“He’s backed him and who are we to dare question?”
Will Pascal Struijk be a good replacement for Phillips?
Phillips will be difficult to replace but Struijk will surely give his best to perform for Bielsa, who has seemingly put his faith in the Dutchman. The youngster has elicited mixed reactions following his performance against Wolves on Monday, with Dominic Matteo calling him ‘naive’ whilst Noel Whelan preferred to praise him.
Do you think Struijk can provide an adequate replacement for Phillips in the defensive midfield role? Let us know your views in the comments section below…
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