Journalist Conor McGilligan has taken to Twitter to praise Leeds United left-back Pascal Struijk for his performance in the side’s Carabao Cup game against Barnsley.
Leeds have seemingly booked themselves a spot in the next round of the Carabao Cup after a huge, but close 3-1 win over League One side, Barnsley. While the scoreline shows they were comfortable in their win, they nearly let an early lead slip before securing victory through a third goal.
The first came from new signing Luis Sinisterra in the 21st minute with a shot from outside of the box which slotted into the bottom right corner. This was shortly followed by a penalty from Mateusz Klich after Sinisterra was brought down in the box by Conor McCarthy.
Barnsley managed to get one back just three minutes later in the 35th minute thanks to a header from Mads Andersen, and while they continue to apply pressure, Leeds managed to double their lead in the second half thanks to another goal from Klich.
However, one player who has garnered praise is not either goalscorer, but their half-time substitute, Struijk, who has been described by McGilligan as ‘the best player on the pitch’ and hailed the defender as a ‘ridiculous talent’. See the tweet below.
Pascal has just come on and he's already the best player on the pitch.
Yes, this is from left-back too, what a ridiculous talent we have on our hands.#LUFC
— Conor McGilligan (@ConorMcGilligxn) August 24, 2022
TIF Thoughts on Struijk…
It is easy to see why McGilligan has such high praise for Struijk when you look at his Sofascore stats from the cup tie. During his second-half spell, the defender picked up two interceptions, one tackle, had 71 touches and won all five of his aerial duels for a match rating of 7.2.
However, it is not just this game where the 23-year-old has impressed as according to his Fbref numbers, he currently ranks in the 99th percentile for pressures, interceptions, and blocks per game and the 83rd for shot-creating actions, proving he is a do-it-all kind of player who any team would love to have.
Leeds have started the Premier League season impeccably under Jesse Marsch, currently sitting third after three games and have now won their first game in the Carabao Cup. Struijk is going to be an important figure for this side moving forward and if they are to achieve great things, they are going to need him to be on his best form.
He is an exciting player both for Leeds fans and for neutrals to watch, we anticipate a lot more to come from the young Dutchman, and this latest performance is a great place to start.