By Jonty Banks

10th Jan, 2023 | 11:40am

Pascal Struijk in line for Leeds United leadership role under Jesse Marsch after recent developments

Jesse Marsch will attempt to “tease” out Pascal Struijk’s leadership qualities at Leeds United as they ponder their long-term captain at Elland Road, according to Leeds Live.

The Dutch centre-back has been a mainstay in Marsch’s side this season and was rewarded for his consistency by being given the captain’s armband against Cardiff City in the FA Cup (Sunday 8 January).

The Whites’ current captain Liam Cooper sees his deal expire in 18 months, and the club have resolved a potential future succession by extending Struijk’s stay in West Yorkshire till 2027.

Leeds Live reporter Beren Cross wrote on 10 January: “Leadership is one of the key tenets Jesse Marsch wants to lure out of Pascal Struijk as he approaches his mid-20s at Leeds United.

“With the ink on Struijk’s latest contract still drying and his minutes bettered only by Illan Meslier and Robin Koch, the Dutchman is becoming one of the most important projects at the club.

“Wober is only 18 months older than Struijk and yet they have vastly different experiences of leading senior teams, of being vocal, of being an organiser on the field. Marsch knows all that and wants to tease that next phase of development from the former Ajax prospect.”

Pivotal

Marsch’s trust in Struijk was epitomised on Sunday after handing the captain’s armband to the Dutchman ahead of both Joel Robles and Spain international Diego Llorente.

The club’s hierarchy obviously sees the 23-year-old as the long-term future of the club and giving him a little taster of life as captain won’t do any harm. Alongside new signing Max Wober, Cooper, and Luke Ayling, the Whites suddenly have a defence packed with leaders.

If Struijk’s performance levels continue to improve, it won’t be long before he attracts significant interest from elsewhere, but penning a long-term deal up to 2027 shows he’s invested in the vision of the club.

He has done well out of position at left-back this season, but the arrival of Wober could result in a shift back to his favoured centre-back role in the coming weeks. Leeds fans will hope Struijk can hit yet another gear in his burgeoning career at Elland Road.

In other Leeds United news, Fabrizio Romano shares overnight update as Leeds close in on major transfer