The hearts of Leeds United supporters may have sunk somewhat when Jesse Marsch’s press conference injury update included the news that Pascal Struijk will miss the trip to Leicester City.
It is definitely a blow for the Whites. Struijk has been brilliant as a makeshift left-back so far this season. He was forcing Junior Firpo to bide his time upon his return from his own injury.
In an ideal world, Marsch would have been able to get Firpo up to speed more gradually. He missed most of pre-season, as well as the early stages of the campaign. So he is likely to be a little rusty at the King Power Stadium.
Struijk injury could be turned into a positive for Leeds
And it must not be forgotten that Firpo really did not have it easy during his first season at Leeds.
It is disappointing for Leeds. But perhaps there is one slight upside to Struijk missing tomorrow’s clash – particularly as Marsch hopes it will only be one game.
Liam Cooper was actually excellent against Arsenal. It was a captain’s performance. However, it was a much-needed display after what came at Crystal Palace before Sunday.
Cooper made errors in the build-up to both of Palace’s goals. It seemed to be a really naive performance.
Cooper has been Leeds’ best centre-back when he has been fit over the last 12 months. However, it is not too controversial to say that his limitations are sometimes exposed.
For this particular writer therefore, the centre-back partnership – amongst the current crop – which has the most potential involves Robin Koch and Struijk.
So, while it is a real setback to lose Struijk against the Foxes, it may be beneficial that Marsch’s hand has been forced when it comes to moving Struijk away from left-back.
It is a little easier to imagine the 23-year-old getting the chance to return at centre-back alongside Koch at some stage if he is coming from the sidelines.
And if Struijk can be as good in his preferred position as he has been at left-back, he could be an even bigger asset for the Whites over the rest of the season.