, Opinion: Leeds United should bite the bullet and send 24-year-old for surgery amid recent development

Opinion: Leeds United should bite the bullet and send 24-year-old for surgery amid recent development

Leeds United have enjoyed plenty of success this season, with a watertight backline and an electric attack combining to form a fantastic Championship side.

Leeds United haven’t been blessed with a particularly strong defence in recent years. It was a big part of their downfall in the Premier League and understandably, there would have been concerns coming into this season too.

However, Daniel Farke has been able to turn the Whites into a much more resolute defensive outfit. They’ve kept 19 clean sheets in the Championship, conceding a division best 28 goals on their way to the top of the Championship table.

They’ve been able to do so without Dutch star Pascal Struijk too. The 24-year-old has developed into a key player at Elland Road and looked to have formed a fantastic centre-back partnership with Joe Rodon over the first half of the season, also assuming captaincy on several occasions.

leeds united's players celebrate
Image courtesy of: JASON CAIRNDUFF/REUTERS.

However, Struijk has now been out of action since the end of 2023. A groin injury has proven persistent and as confirmed by Farke last week, surgery is now a serious possibility after a failed injection therapy programme. That would end his season, but after failed short-term improvements and nearly three months on the sidelines, it could be best for all to bite the bullet and book an operation.

1 of 20
, Opinion: Leeds United should bite the bullet and send 24-year-old for surgery amid recent development

Who is this?

Best for the long-term?

There’s no hiding that a return for Struijk in the late stages of the season could be a real boost. He’s a standout at this level and has emerged as a leader in the Leeds United group, so his presence in the matchday squad would be a real morale boost while also having a high-quality player back in the ranks.

That said, the Whites have managed well in his absence, and to avoid risking making the injury worse and further extending his absence, surgery could be the wisest move.

That way, any ‘will he, won’t he’ over a potential return can be put to bed. Struijk will be able to focus on his recovery, turning his attention to preparing for pre-season and the new campaign beyond.

Of course, it rules out the chances of Leeds United welcoming back a key player. However, Farke has an ample stand-in partnership of Ethan Ampadu and Rodon while Liam Cooper and Charlie Cresswell can provide cover.

Season-ending surgery for Struijk would no doubt be a blow. But, to remove long-term risk of delaying a further blow, it could be the best option for Leeds United given the defender has already spent three months out with shorter-term fixes failing to yield results.

Previous Article
norwich city

Opinion: Norwich City need to keep hold of 26-year-old this summer, useful player to have in squad

Next Article
, ‘Monitoring him closely’ – Fabrizio Romano on Sunderland star interest amid top-flight links

'Monitoring him closely' - Fabrizio Romano on Sunderland star interest amid top-flight links

Related Posts