By Saikat Mandal

5th Feb, 2022 | 9:10am

View: Pascal Struijk's rise at Leeds is another Bielsa success story

The sky is the limit for Pascal Struijk at Leeds United.

The Whites skipper Liam Cooper has praised him heavily this week, saying he can be one of the best centre-backs in the future.

Struijk arrived at Elland Road in 2018 as a teenager and he has gradually progressed to become one of the club’s most reliable players this season.

Speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post, Cooper said about the young Dutch defender: “Pascal has absolutely everything to be one of the best centre-backs out there, he really has.

“He’s unbelievable on the ball, he’s strong, good in the air. I always knew. We all know now.

“His improvement speaks for itself. He’s got his head down, improved physically, his concentration levels are there and he puts everything into training. He’s reaping the rewards now and he deserves that.”

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His mercurial rise is another example of Marcelo Bielsa’s success story at Leeds. If and when the Argentine leaves the club, how the fans will remember him?

Obviously, he is the one who has taken Leeds to the Premier League once again, and probably he will set up the platform for the future managers to flourish at the club.

However, Bielsa is much more than that. His commitment towards improving players have been an inspiration for every manager out there.

Kalvin Phillips comes to mind. He was an average midfielder playing slightly high up the pitch. Bielsa transformed him completely and he is now arguably one of the best defensive midfielders in the league.

The same can be said about Struijk. Last season, he looked so assured at the back, but there were rough edges to his game. This season, he has looked like a completely new player, who is so composed with the ball on his feet.

While Struijk could go on to become a world-beater in the future, Bielsa’s role in helping him grow is another feather in the cap to his success story at Leeds.

In other Leeds United news, this Sky Sports pundit has unleashed on the reported failure of West Ham signing Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha in January.