Many Leeds United fans were left unimpressed with Pascal Struijk during the Whites’ 1-0 loss to Brighton on Saturday afternoon.
Neal Maupay’s first-half finish condemned Leeds to a third straight loss in 2021 and Struijk’s poor performance didn’t help matters.
The 21-year-old was deployed in the Kalvin Phillips role with the England midfielder missing the game through suspension.
It is fair to say that Struijk, a usual centre half, was unable to bring the same level of quality as Phillips and many fans were left unimpressed.
It is harsh to blame him too much for this as Struijk wasn’t playing in his favoured position but it could be argued that he still should’ve done better.
Struijk only won 48% of his duels, according to Wyscout, which simply isn’t good enough for a midfielder who is sat just in front of the defence.
This becomes more alarming when you remember that Struijk is a defender by trade so he should’ve done a lot better in the tackle.
According to Wyscout, only 57% of Struijk’s attempted forward passes found a teammate which is simply dreadful for a Premier League footballer.
No wonder we struggled to play like we normally do as the reliable Phillips was replaced by a defender who was unable to pass forward.
After and during the game, fans took aim at Bielsa with many saying that the Struijk experiment failed as the 21-year-old had a torrid afternoon.
It is fair to say that plenty of Whites fans think Struijk should never play in midfield again.
Here is how some Leeds fans reacted to Struijk’s performance against Brighton.
that game should be proof enough that struijk is not a DM, ridiculously poor in the centre of the park today
— david heelys® (@murderbalI) January 16, 2021
Awful performance and wrong again from Bielsa. The Struijk CDM experiment doesn’t work.
— Gelderd_Resident (@GelderdResident) January 16, 2021
Anyone more mobile than him. Dallas is a better option. Struijk is steady away in defence but awful in midfield.
— Tom Huffinley (@THuff1994) January 16, 2021
Struijk was so poor today
— ً (@GASPERlNl) January 16, 2021
Struijk is terrible wherever he plays #lufc
— mary mary quite contrary 💙 (@Mazzaleeds) January 16, 2021
Deserved that. Go and sign a defensive midfielder because when Phillips isn’t there, struijk not good enough and Forshaw’s died
— alts (@JJAlton10) January 16, 2021
For the love of god please take Struijk off at half time he is not a midfielder.. #lufc
— Adrian Sheehan (@asheehan180) January 16, 2021
Struijk looks a decent centre back to me but a dreadful midfielder
— Paul Mundy (@mundy_paul) January 16, 2021
In other Leeds United news, Ian Wright has savaged the tactics Bielsa employed against Brighton.