Halme’s departure could mean that Strujik makes his debut next season

This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more… 

Before the beginning of the transfer window, Leeds had a plethora of young centre-backs that they wanted to get off of their books.

Following Aapo Halme’s move to Barnsley, the Whites have now shifted three young defenders this summer, and that could indicate that Pascal Strujik will get a first-team chance next term.

Selling their defenders

Leeds have had something of a firesale this summer when it comes to their U23 defensive talents.

Paudie O’Connor made his loan move to Bradford permanent, Hugo Diaz left after his contract expired and now Halme has been sold to Leeds’ Yorkshire rivals Barnsley.

Rumours have also circulated that Pontus Jansson could be on his way out, and if the Swede does leave Strujik will find himself even further up the pecking order.

With only Ben White arriving as a replacement thus far, Leeds could be left short at centre-half if their injury woes continue, meaning that Bielsa may have to look towards a man he is yet to utilise during his stint at Elland Road.

Strujik’s chance

As it stands the Netherlands U17 international is probably the Whites’ fifth choice centre-back behind Pontus Jansson, Liam Cooper, Gaetano Berardi and Ben White.

Under Marcelo Bielsa, Leeds have had a number of injury problems, and if those issues crop up again next term the Whites may have to turn towards their untested talent.

Last term, Halme and Diaz both made first-team appearances, but with both of those men now gone, it could be time for Strujik to step up.

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With the three departures and the potential sale of Jansson, the 19-year-old has a much better chance of getting a first-team shot, and although he’s still quite a way down the pecking order he may get his opportunity in the league if the Whites’ injury issues persist, or he could appear in the cup games where Marcelo Bielsa has often looked to rotate.

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