By Mark Smith

5th Mar, 2022 | 2:13pm

Rio Ferdinand blasts Leeds United defender Pascal Struijk v Leicester City

Rio Ferdinand has savaged Leeds United defender Pascal Struijk for his performance against Leicester City this afternoon.

The Dutchman was marking Jamie Vardy and was booked early on after getting to a footrace with the England international and dragging him down.

Ferdinand insisted Struijk had to be smarter and must have known that it was “curtains” for him as soon as he set off.

Speaking live on BT Sport coverage, Ferdinand couldn’t understand what the defender was playing at.

“As a defender, if you’re on the halfway line with Jamie Vardy, you know what you’re playing against,” he said.

“I don’t know why he’s playing in the same line as him when he’s not even quick. You’ve got to give yourself a yard or two to see ball and man.

“The moment you get into a foot race with this guy, it’s curtains, it’s over for you.”

Blip.

Struijk knew he had made a mistake as soon as he brought Vardy down, and thankfully, Luke Ayling was on the cover.

The defender has been superb since his breakthrough a couple of years ago, and he will be very eager to catch the eye of Jesse Marsch.

As the game went on, it was clear that the defence became more solid and got used to the new system, something that will take time.

Struijk didn’t have to deal with Vardy for much longer in the second half after dominating him after this incident, though.

Unfortunately, it was his replacement Kelechi Iheanacho who laid it on a plate for Harvey Barnes to smash home the goal.

In other Leeds United news, Paul Merson was living in the past this week while dropping a sacking view on Jesse Marsch