Pascal Struijk going under the radar at Leeds United despite consistently top performances
When naming the top performers at Leeds United this season, one may point to the likes of Georginio Rutter, Crysencio Summerville or Ethan Ampadu, but Pascal Stuijk has been consistently brilliant under Daniel Farke.
While the attacking stars of this side have received their plaudits, the centre-back’s performances have slipped under the radar, and he has been a key part of the recent success.
Former Leeds defender Leigh Bromby called Struijk a “top player” [BBC Radio Leeds, 7 October], commenting that he provides the team with balance at the back with his ability to play the ball out from defence.
Since he scored in the Carabao Cup clash with Salford City on 29 August, the defender has put in consistently impressive performances, not falling below a 7.0 Sofascore rating in any of the seven games, with the stats certainly proving his consistency.
Recently, Struijk turned in a dominant performance against Bristol City. He competed in nine duels, won three tackles and made one clearance, block and interception each. He controlled the play down his side of the field, with 73 touches as he looked to help his side build from defence. [Sofascore]
The 1-0 victory over QPR at Elland Road also saw Struijk sparkle, with his 11 aerial duels showing how he coped with the R’s tactics, with four clearances and three tackles as well as he cleaned up at the back, dominating a physical presence in Sinclair Armstrong.
Even in the 3-1 defeat to Southampton, where no Leeds players particularly stood out, Struijk played a key role. His 93% passing accuracy with 90 completed passes showed his side’s intentions, with 111 touches of the ball a clear display of confidence at the back. [Sofascore]
The defender also scored against the Saints to pull one back having gone 3-0 down and helped calm the game down despite the poor displays around him.
While the attacking players have caught the eye this season, Struijk has been up there with the best of Leeds’ performers and deserves to be given his flowers.
In other Leeds United news, a club chief has responded to permanent transfer speculation around a Leeds man.