By Pranav Shahaney

4th Jan, 2023 | 8:40am

Phil Hay makes Leeds United admission about Pascal Struijk and Max Wober after transfer announcement

Phil Hay has admitted that signing Max Wober is encouraging for Leeds United as he’s a good player defensively as well as offensively.

The Whites announced the signing of the Austria international on 3 January as Jesse Marsch was keen on bringing in a left-back.

Pascal Struijk, who has been deputising at full-back, but it is understood that the new Elland Road signing will offer more going forward in that role.

Hay wrote on the Athletic [4 January], “The encouraging aspect is that Wober has high performance levels both defensively and offensively.

“The former is to be expected — he has grown up as a defender after all — but the numbers do not suggest that in playing as a forward-thinking left-back, Wober is being asked to do things he cannot.

“Defensively, an excellent rate of recoveries and interceptions and an above-average score for defending intensity imply that he is a committed presser, as tends to be the case with Red Bull products.

“It would certainly be fair to say Wober has more of a left-back’s profile than Struijk.”

Exciting

Wober has also played as a defensive midfielder in the past so we could see Jesse Marsch opting to play him as an inverted full-back.

This role has been deployed by Arsenal and Manchester City and it’s being adapted a lot more in the modern game to give sides control over the midfield.

His aerial presence means that he’ll be good at set pieces too and Leeds really seem to have got a good deal for the Austrian.

He will not be playing against West Ham, but we will be really surprised if he’s not a guaranteed starter by the second or third week of January.

Struijk ideally should move to defence as Liam Cooper has been struggling there and Marsch does need to give him some time away from the playing eleven.

Hopefully, Leeds get a striker over the line sooner rather than later so the American does not have to be on edge right until transfer deadline day in the hopes of bringing in a new number nine.

In other Leeds United news, a headline-making player who is linked with a move to Elland Road desperately wants a Premier League transfer in January.