Leeds United

Leeds United


Fabrizio Romano: Leeds strike new deal for versatile defender with salary hike in place after promising season

Ben Stewart
Michael Olise of Crystal Palace and Pascal Struijk of Leeds United challenge for the ball during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park

It has been reported that Leeds United have reached an agreement with Pascal Struijk on a new long-term contract.

Leeds have been keen to tie down the 23-year-old who has had a large role to play in the side this season. The defender was initially picked up from Ajax back in 2018 and he has continued to rise through the ranks at Elland Road since.

Struijk made his debut for Leeds in the 2019/20 season in the Championship under Marcelo Bielsa. Since his debut he has continued to develop and improve.

The Dutch defender was originally signed as a centre-half, but he has proven his versatility by playing at left-back this season.

He has started in 13 Premier League matches this season and has proven his worth in his new position.

Fabrizio Romano has taken to Twitter to explain the latest developments in Struijk’s new deal with Leeds.

‘Leeds have reached an agreement with Pascal Struijk on new contract, it will be valid until 2027 — it’s done,’ writes Romano.

‘Documents are drafted — improved salary and new deal will be making Struijk one of key players of the club, after brilliant first part of the season.’

The contract will certainly be deserved after his impressive performances throughout the 2022-23 season so far.

Leeds have had a long-standing problem at left-back as Junior Firpo has struggled to properly integrate since his arrival from Barcelona. Time will tell if Leeds do dip into the January market.

Jesse Marsch on left-back situation 

Firpo has struggled to nail down a consistent starting spot at Leeds due to a series of injuries and inconsistent form.

Despite his struggles in England so far, Jesse Marsch has insisted that the door is still open for him to fight for his place in the side.

“I’ve heard criticisms of Junior from the past,” Marsch explained via Leeds Live. “I can only tell you since I’ve been here, he has, in every way, tried to adapt and learn and grow into the player I believe he can be.

“His technical ability and passing ability is one of the best on our team, his athleticism is definitely on the high end of our team, his intelligence is very high and then his tactical awareness is also very keen.

“If he can continue to add the right kind of aggressiveness, he can grow into a real defender and be a real two-way player.

“At left-back, there are not a lot of those types of players out there in the world right now. So, specifically with Junior, I’m trying to develop him into the player I believe he can become and I believe he can be a big player here no doubt.

“He has everything he needs and his commitment to try to do that is at a really high level, even at a moment when Pascal has been playing so well and it’s not been easy for him to accept being on the bench.”

The Spanish defender has only started in one Premier League match this season and now has the tough job of displacing Struijk.

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