Speaking recently on a video for Leeds United Live, Beren Cross discussed the potential of Leeds centre-back, Pascal Struijk.
This season, the £2.25 million-rated 21-year-old has performed admirably over his 11 Premier League appearances for Marcelo Bielsa’s side, making an average of 1.8 tackles, two interceptions and 3.3 clearances per game, culminating in an average WhoScored match rating of 6.69.
In his most recent appearance, United’s 3-1 victory over Leicester City, the former Netherlands U17 international highly impressed, making two tackles, four interceptions and five clearances, as well as earning a WhoScored match rating of 6.94.
And, speaking on a video for Leeds United Live, Cross heaped praise on the centre-back’s performance against Leicester, as well as discussing the potential he believes Struijk to have.
He said: “Struijk was absolutely sublime. I’ve been one of his critics in recent weeks, he’s obviously very, very young, he’s got a lot to come in the years ahead. I really wanted [Mateusz] Klich to start [on Sunday] and I wanted Struijk to remain on the bench, and I wanted [Luke] Ayling play centre-back and I wanted [Stuart] Dallas to play at right-back – how wrong was I? I couldn’t be more wrong.
“Struijk was just superb and he’s just going to get better and better this season. This season is going to do wonders for his progression. You just wonder what sort of centre-back we’re going to have when the season finishes or going into next season. He’s a fantastic asset to have. And again, he was just brilliant [against Leicester], he didn’t put a foot wrong.”
Will Struijk keep his place in the first team?
TIF Thoughts on Beren Cross’ comments regarding Pascal Struijk…
Considering the fact that Struijk made just five appearances in the Championship for Leeds last season, the 21-year-old has certainly shown that he has the ability to make the step up to being a first-team regular for Marcelo Bielsa in Premier League, as can be seen from his average WhoScored match rating of 6.69 in the top flight.
As such, we would have to agree with Cross in that, as the 21-year-old gains further experience in the Premier League, as well as the natural maturing he will undergo with age as a footballer, Leeds would indeed appear to have a very promising young defender in the shape of Struijk.