We’re delighted to welcome former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson as our exclusive columnist as each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Leeds United…
Paul Robinson has warned of players quitting clubs because they’re not playing in their preferred positions with Pascal Struijk covering at left-back for Leeds United this season.
Junior Firpo has missed the first couple of months of the season due to injury and that’s led to Struijk, 23, filling in at left-back in all six of his Premier League appearances.
The Dutch defender’s contract at Elland Road expires in 2024, meaning that next summer he’ll be in the final year of his deal and weaken Leeds’ negotiating position if a club comes in for him.
However, according to The Athletic journalist Phil Hay on 16 September (The Phil Hay Show), Leeds will “without a doubt” want to get Struijk tied down to a new contract.
Robinson is a fan of Struijk’s ability to play in multiple position but he suggests that some players might not be too happy to play anywhere but their preferred role.
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“Struijk’s played semi-regularly because he’s so versatile,” Robinson told MOT Leeds News.
“He can play at left-back, centre-half, one of the back-three or in holding midfield.
“From a manager’s point of view, he’s good to have in the squad so that’s probably why Leeds want to tie him down.
“He’s not the best player in the squad, he’s not going to be man of the match every week. But he does the job for the manager regardless of where he plays.
“From his own personal view, he will have a position of where he wants to play and it just depends on whether he’s happy being a player that can be used in different positions over where he wants to play.
“You see players at clubs making noise about wanting to leave because they’re not playing in their preferred position.
“Struijk is very quiet. We don’t hear or see a lot of him in the media so we don’t know what his preferred position is and if he’s happy playing here, there and everywhere.
“Struijk’s not quick enough to play in central midfield but in defensive midfield, he’s okay and he does a job. At left-back, he gets exposed so I think long-term, he has to be at centre-back.”
Struijk has made 72 appearances in all competitions for Leeds since joining the Yorkshire club in January 2018 from Ajax.
In other Leeds United news, a Sky Sports pundit has reacted to Gary Neville’s suggestion that the 49ers’ potential ownership at Leeds would be a problem.