Pascal Struijk has been linked to a move away from Elland Road and recent reports suggest that Leeds United are going to have a battle on their hands to keep him.
Speaking to Football Insider, Kevin Campbell stated that “this is where the vultures start to circle” and that the Whites may struggle to keep hold of players like the versatile defender. According to Dutch outlet De Telegraaf, Leicester and Napoli are both keeping tabs on Struijk and could swoop for him once the summer transfer window opens.
If the £25,000 per week centre-back opts to leave the club, Victor Orta and co must be quick in searching for a replacement.
Despite being left on the bench for nine matches at the start of this season, Struijk has been called upon during Marcelo Bielsa’s latest hour of need. The injuries to summer signings Robin Koch and Diego Llorente have seriously depleted the Argentinian’s defensive options. For the last 11 matches, the 21-year-old has featured amongst the starting XI and has switched between operating as a centre-back and in defensive midfield.
Struijk has been covering the absence of Kalvin Phillips, who is currently out of action with a calf injury. The last outing saw him keep a clean sheet against Southampton and he also contributed a goal against Arsenal in their attempted comeback at the Emirates, according to Sofascore.
If an elite level side scoops him up this summer, Leeds will be without his services in case of any further injury crisis. Phillips has missed six Premier League matches so far this campaign, through two separate injuries, as per Transfermarkt. Whilst he is a tank in Bielsa’s midfield when he’s fit, these recurring injuries could spell a bit of trouble ahead.
If Struijk leaves the club, Leeds must scramble to find a suitable replacement, as only having Phillips on their books to operate in defensive midfield is not enough if they want to keep pushing up the Premier League table and eventually challenge for European football.
In other news, Phil Hay update hints at a new Leeds contract for Bielsa…