By Joe Ellis

16th Sep, 2022 | 2:10pm

Leeds United must tie Pascal Struijk down to long-term deal after sensational start to season

Due to Junior Firpo’s injury, Pascal Struijk has been almost forced to fill in at left-back for Leeds United this season and he’s done admirably.

The 23-year-old has looked very solid defensively and while he doesn’t quite possess the attacking talent of Firpo, Jack Harrison’s exceptional form at the start of the season has made up for that.

Struijk, who recently confirmed his intentions to play for the Netherlands internationally, is naturally a central defender though and excelled there at times last season.

Jesse Marsch should be hoping to move him into the middle once Firpo is back to match fitness – which could be for the visit of Aston Villa on 2 October – and then he will see the true brilliance of the Dutchman.

But for how much longer though because Struijk’s contract at Elland Road is due to expire in the summer of 2024, according to Transfer Markt, and he could be entitled to look for a new club come next summer.

Leeds United will know just how good he already is and how high his ceiling might be and they therefore will not want to lose him for free at the end of next season.

That might force their hand in offering him a new deal to stay in Yorkshire but that would actually be the perfect thing for them to do.

After his performances both during this season and last, Struijk has arguably earned himself a nice little pay rise and the Whites have the wiggle room to offer him that while also ensuring he stays at the club for much longer.

That would also mean that if he does leave in 2024, it will be for serious money rather than a freebie which will be something Victor Orta is acutely aware of.

In other Leeds United news, there could be a lot of potential investment heading the way of Elland Road soon according to this in the know journalist.