Leeds United Could Lose £16 Million-Rated Star To European Giants

Leeds United central defender Pascal Struijk has been linked with a move to French champions Paris Saint Germain, according to TeamTalk.

The 24-year-old, who can play at both centre-back and left-back, has started 22 games in the Championship for Daniel Farke’s side this season, scoring three times in the process.

Struijk spent time with ADO Den Hag and Ajax before he joined the Peacocks in January 2018. The Belgium-born defender spent the best part of two years in the youth set-up at Elland Road before making his senior debut in December 2019.

The former Netherlands under-17 international made five appearances as the Whites won the Championship in 2019/20, but really came to prominence in their first season back in the top flight. Struijk played 27 league games for Leeds and was a key component of their success upon their return to the Premier League despite only initially getting an opportunity due to an injury to Liam Cooper.

The six-foot three-inch defender went on to make 29 league appearances in the 2021/22 season and a further 29 appearances last season. But, the 24-year-old was largely used as a left-back as the Whites got relegated and his performance levels noticeably declined which led to some questioning his place in the team.

This season, however, Struijk has been playing as well as he ever has. Not only has he become a real goal threat from set-pieces, scoring more times this season than he had in his entire career previously, but he has also blossomed into a leader and has worn the armband on several occasions, seeing his market value rise to £15.7 million, as per Transfermarkt.

Writer’s View

As good as Struijk has been this season, going from the Championship to a team that will want to make it to the latter stages of the Champions League is a step too far and will not be beneficial for him in the long-run. He has certainly demonstrated the levels of ability needed to perform at the elite level at certain stages of his career, but the defender needs to perform consistently in the Premier League before he should be looking to move to a club like PSG.

Struijk should look no further than his centre-back partner, Joe Rodon, to see that this is the case. He also put in excellent performances in the Championship with Swansea before moving to Tottenham Hotspur, but he found it hard to get regular minutes and his career stagnated to the point where he is now back where he started.

From Leeds’ point of view, they will want to do everything that they can to keep hold of their star defender as Daniel Farke is a big fan of Struijk having vetoed the sale of the centre-back in the summer.

Contractually, Leeds are in a good place. Almost exactly one year ago, the club tied Struijk down to a new four-and-a-half-year deal, meaning the Parisian giants will have to fork out a sizeable fee to pry the defender away from Yorkshire and that there is no hope of him running his contract down.

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