Due to Junior Firpo’s injury, Pascal Struijk was almost forced to replace the left-back for Leeds United this season and he has coped admirably.
The 23-year-old has looked very solid defensively and although he doesn’t quite possess Firpo’s attacking talent, Jack Harrison’s outstanding form at the start of the season made up for that.
Struijk, who recently confirmed his intentions to play for the Netherlands at international level, is a natural centre-back and excelled at it at times last season.
Jesse Marsch should be hoping to move him into midfield once Firpo is back to match fitness – which could be for the visit to Aston Villa on October 2 – and then he will see the Dutchman’s true brilliance.
But for how much longer, as Struijk’s contract at Elland Road is due to expire in the summer of 2024, according to Transfer Markt, and he could be looking for a new club next summer.
Leeds United will know how good he already is and how high his cap could be and so they won’t want to lose him for free at the end of next season.
It might force their hand by offering him a new contract to stay in Yorkshire, but it would actually be the perfect thing for them to do.
After his performances this season and last, Struijk has arguably earned himself a nice little raise and Los Blancos have the leeway to give him that while ensuring he stays at the club for much longer.
It would also mean that if he leaves in 2024 it will be for serious money rather than a freebie, which Victor Orta is well aware of.
In other Leeds United news, there could be plenty of potential investment on the way to Elland Road soon according to this well-known reporter.