By Mark Smith

4th Nov, 2021 | 3:30pm

Leeds passing of guard between Liam Cooper & Pascal Struijk soon - Phil Hay

Phil Hay has predicted a major passing of guard between Leeds United duo Liam Cooper and Pascal Struijk in the near future.

The Whites skipper has been consistently questioned at Elland Road but continues to be backed by Marcelo Bielsa.

Struijk has come into the side after numerous injury crises’ in recent years and that has seen him thrive in the Premier League.

Responding to a fan in his latest piece for The Athletic, Hay believes that Cooper has done enough to justify his current spot.

“I can see Struijk coming up on the rails and as I said in the piece, there is only so long you can hold him back for but I understand why Cooper is in there,” he wrote.

“There will definitely be a changing of the guard at some stage.”

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The future.

Despite Diego Llorente partnering Cooper in recent weeks, Bielsa has still found a spot for Struijk in his side.

That just proves how highly-rated the Dutch sensation is, playing out of position in midfield – somewhere he has previously struggled.

Having said that, he has excelled against Wolves and Norwich, helping the side with his incredible passing attributes, spraying the ball around with ease.

Struijk also moved to left-back at Carrow Road, swapping with Stuart Dallas – showing his versatility is becoming a real positive for the Whites.

This may be one of the last seasons of Cooper consistently starting, especially if we want to start pushing for European football.

Will Struijk be the man to take over? It’s possible, but a fully fit Robin Koch may also have something to say about that.

In other Leeds United news, Paul Merson has dropped a huge transfer claim on one Whites star with an imminent exit on the cards