Former Premier League striker Kevin Phillips believes Leeds United should let loose their “secret weapon” in the form of Pascal Struijk against Wolves on Friday,
Struijk to feature?
The 21-year-old has been a bit-part figure in Marcelo Bielsa’s side during the Whites first season back in the top flight – after only featuring five times last season in the Championship.
Despite this, Struijk has impressed when he has been involved in the action, especially after his defensive display during his side’s 1-0 win against Burnley last month.
The Dutchman has averaged 2.9 clearances per game this season. Except for Liam Cooper, this is more than any other Leeds player has managed so far (Whoscored). Struijk even got himself on the scoresheet during his side’s 4-2 defeat to Arsenal with an excellent header.
Speaking to Football Insider, Phillips feels that Struijk may provide an element to Leeds’ game that Wolves will not be expecting – and made an interesting comparison to a certain West Ham United star.
“It was a superb header at the weekend from Struijk, he has shown that he has that ability in his locker,” he said. “Why would you not look to use that as a weapon?
“Leeds could mix up their play. You know exactly what they are going to do. They will try and play through you and put you under pressure but what Struijk gives you is another dimension.
“You can actually play for set-pieces and then look to get the ball in the box. [Tomas] Soucek is a classic example of this. West Ham apply it so well. He is excellent in the air from set plays.
“Struijk could be their secret weapon moving forward until the end of the season. They should definitely look to use him a little bit more.”
Transfer Tavern Verdict
We think Phillips may have a valid point here. Struijk most certainly provides Leeds with a different dimension. Something that was spotted during the first game of the season against champions Liverpool where he made 11 clearances and four recoveries.
The ability that the 6 foot 2 defender has is evident, but he has not been able to show it regularly which is unfortunate.
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