Leeds United are riding high in the Championship at the moment. The West Yorkshire side are unbeaten in 2024 and making short work of a lot of opponents.
Spearheading this run of exceptional form is a devastating attack. Crysencio Summerville, Georginio Rutter, Dan James and Joel Piroe have been the go-to quartet, while Patrick Bamford and Wilfried Gnonto have been back to their dangerous best recently.
The Whites attack has been potent. Yet, that is only half the story of Leeds United’s Championship success this season.
Leeds United’s success has also been based on an increasingly miserly defence, conceding just 26 goals all season. Across six consecutive wins, Daniel Farke’s side have conceded just once.
A huge part of that success has been the solidity provided by on-loan Wales international Joe Rodon. In the early part of the season, he was ably supported by Dutch youngster Pascal Struijk, who is currently out injured.
Latest Struijk injury update
Struijk has been sidelined by an adductor issue since the Boxing Day defeat to Preston North End. He is not expected to make team training at any point soon either. As relayed by the Yorkshire Evening Post, Farke confirms that Struijk is doing individual work as he looks to get back up to speed.
Commenting on a potential timeframe Farke adds, “We first spoke about one or two weeks and it’s now been more or less two months.” Confirming that there is progress, he adds that club doctors will not allow him to up his training load until February 20.
Whilst unable to look at a quick return, Farke is hoping for a nod from the club’s medical staff to up his intensity. Commenting on this, Farke said:
“It will be a late call on whether he will return before the next international break.”
Two big positives from Struijk injury
Struijk is an important player, and his presence has been missed. However, there are two big positives that Leeds United fans can take from his ongoing injury.
The first is an ongoing benefit; Ethan Ampadu slotting in as a centre-back. He has taken to this switch like the proverbial duck to water. Solid as a defensive midfielder, Leeds fans are seeing this solidity at the centre of a watertight backline.
Of course, playing alongside Joe Rodon is helping. Yet, playing here is also having benefits when it comes to his distribution. Ampadu helps to get Leeds United on the front foot with raking balls from the back.
The second benefit is that it can help to promote Charlie Cresswell up the pecking order at Elland Road. After clashing with Farke over his role at the club, he came on for the last 10-or-so minutes in the 3-0 win against Rotherham United last time out.
Needless to say, once Struijk is fully fit, he will likely resume his natural position alongside Joe Rodon. In the meantime, it is not all doom and gloom whilst he remains out injured. Farke has ample cover in place and with such strong form of late, Leeds United have not been weakened despite the absence of one of their star players.