The Lowdown: New deal completed?
The Whites centre-back has now entered the final 18 months of his deal at Elland Road, and this season has found himself playing the majority of games at left-back due to the injuries to Stuart Dallas and Junior Firpo.
The Premier League side are looking to sign a new left-back in the winter market, initially leaving question marks surrounding the 23-year-old’s future, but recent reports have claimed that he’s actually already been handed fresh terms, despite no official confirmation from the club.
The Latest: Robinson reacts
Reacting to the news of an apparent agreement in a chat with MOT Leeds News, former shot-stopper Robinson insisted that Struijk is right to be rewarded with a new contract, but feared that his game time could be limited should a signing be made in January:
“He’s had to play because they don’t have another left-back. I think when another left-back is signed, it’ll be interesting to see where he plays.
“Leeds are most secure at centre-half which means he lacks opportunities there and you can’t see him playing in the midfield instead of Tyler Adams in the holding role.
“I know he’s playing every week now and he’s probably enjoying his run in the side. But it’s where he plays when they do eventually sign a left-back, which has been needed for a very long time. It’ll be interesting.
“It’s a no-brainer for Leeds to sign him on a new contract because he can play at the back, at left-back and in the midfield.
“His versatility is fantastic for a manager.
“But from a player’s point of view, I just wonder where he fits in when and if they sign a new left-back.”
The Verdict: Fully deserved
Struijk has been dubbed a ‘monster’ by Argentinian football writer Daniel Fraiz-Martinez, and after a start to this campaign that fully justifies that praise, Leeds extending his stay would be nothing less than he deserves.
The Belgian currently averages 3.2 tackles and two clearances per league game – second only to Tyler Adams amongst the regulars – alongside having a goal and assist to his name, highlighting the significant impact he has at both ends of the pitch (WhoScored). All in all, he actually ranks as the club’s best performing player this term.
Jesse Marsch will face a selection headache when he has a fully fit squad available to him, but the 6 foot 2 colossus is surely a player that has to be involved one way or another.
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