Jesse Marsch continues to come under increasing pressure as Leeds United manager, but the agent of Pascal Struijk has been quoted by Dutch outlet SoccerNews that he is happy the American is playing his client at left-back.
Struijk, 23, has started all but one of Leeds’ 11 Premier League games on the left side of the defence so far. His form at left-back has been so impressive, that Struijk was included in the preliminary Netherlands squad for the last break.
Naturally a centre-back, Struijk has also been known to play as a holding midfielder. But with Leeds lacking an in-form left-back and Junior Firpo injured in pre-season, Marsch has used Struijk in a new position – as cover for Firpo.
His form has been so good that Struijk returned to the starting line-up on Sunday. He was missing for the narrow 1-0 loss to Arsenal through injury, but put Firpo back on the bench when fit. Louis van Gaal likes his players to be versatile.
Ahead of the World Cup, Struijk’s versatility might see him sneak into the 26-man Netherlands World Cup squad. His agent was discussing Marsch’s usage of Struijk on the left, and is happy to see Struijk showing van Gaal his versatility.
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“Netherlands, they play with five in the back and at Leeds with four. I think it’s good that he plays as a left back at Leeds. That shows that he is versatile, something Van Gaal appreciates in players,” Struijk’s agent Tim Vrouwe said.
Agent of Struijk happy Marsch is playing Leeds client at left-back
There are two takes from this. The first being, can £29k-a-week Struijk get into the World Cup squad? He made the preliminary squad last time out. But, he failed to win a place in the final squad for the break under van Gaal.
He is yet to make his full debut and that might just prevent him from making the squad. Leeds’ form under Marsch might not help, either. The other take, is his agent will know, Struijk becoming a Netherlands player will arouse interest.
Struijk is out of contract in just over 18 months. Given he is young, versatile, pushing for a place at Netherlands level and proven in the Premier League – interest will generate. Leeds have to sort out a new deal with Vrouwe soon.