Presenter and YouTuber Joe Wainman has torn into Leeds United defender Pascal Struijk after a ‘disappointing’ display in the Premier League on Friday night.
The Whites lost 2-1 at Villa Park and had plenty of chances but failed to get the better of Unai Emery’s side. Struijk was highlighted in particular as a poor performer by Leeds Live, who gave him a 3/10 rating.
This season, the Dutchman has made 17 league appearances for Jesse Marsch’s side and even has two goals and an assist to his name in the Premier League, although he has often filled in at left-back this term due to the injury to Junior Firpo and a lack of alternative options.
Struijk has been with Leeds for quite a while, with his time at Elland Road dating back to when they were in the Championship. He joined the Whites in January 2018 after making the move from Eredivisie side Ajax when he was just 18 years old.
He stated: “Struijk tonight, Bailey killed him. So disappointing to see.
“Wober maybe should have started – he will do against Cardiff. Struijk’s place is up for grabs now; I feel sorry for him.”
TIF Thoughts on Wainman’s comments…
We think dropping Struijk for the game against Cardiff would be the right move, as it would allow the defender to have some rest while giving Maximilian Wober a chance to bed into the team against lower-league opposition.
Leeds have some tough league fixtures ahead of them and they’ll want Struijk to be on top form. In their next five league games, they face relegation rivals Nottingham Forest, Everton and Southampton – not to mention a home clash with Manchester United.
We know that the 23-year-old can be a top defender when he’s on form, as the stats suggest as much over the past year. Indeed, he ranks in the top 6% for tackles and the top 3% for aerials won by a defender within Europe’s top competitions (FBref).
Hopefully, he can put this criticism and his recent performances behind him and eventually refind his form as Leeds look to steer clear of relegation trouble.