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After today's news, £13m Leeds player really could be stuck on the bench for a long time - opinion
Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

After today's news, £13m Leeds player really could be stuck on the bench for a long time - opinion

The transfer window hasn’t even opened yet, but already Leeds United are doing deals.

An update from journalist Fabrizio Romano suggests Leeds have agreed a new deal with defender Pascal Struijk.

Struijk is set to extend his stay at Elland Road until 2027.

It’s a massive show of faith from the club and Jesse Marsch for the versatile defender.

Capable of playing as a centre-back or as a holding midfielder, Struijk has regularly been used across the back line.

Marcelo Bielsa and Marsch have both relied on that versatility, and this season he’s spent most of the campaign at left-back.

An injury to Junior Firpo in pre-season gave Marsch a dilemma.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

Marsch’s left-back conundrum

He had already agreed to let youngster Leif Davis leave the club, and Stuart Dallas is also a long-term absentee.

It meant Struijk ended pre-season learning how to play in the role, and Marsch had plenty of faith in the Dutchman.

“It’s not his natural position, but Pascal still is mobile enough. He’s intelligent, he’s technically good and he understands the tactics,” Marsch said to Leeds Live.

“We’ve worked a lot with him, showing them a lot of videos and talking a lot of different phases of the game and what we want it to look like.

“There’s benefits actually to having Pascal on the pitch in this position. I think he’s taken it on that way and I think he’s ready for a big season and to show that that he can play in that position quite well.”

Struijk had adapted quickly to his new role, and now with a contract on the way, Firpo could find himself on the bench for a long time now.

Firpo could be on the bench after Struijk’s new deal

The £13m defender arrived at Elland Road last season, and was immediately first choice on the left.

However, a knee injury in pre-season delayed his start to this campaign.

He started just one Premier League match before the World Cup break, and it didn’t go to plan.

The 26-year-old was slammed by pundit Simon Walton for his performance against Leicester.

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

Firpo dropped back down to the bench for the next four matches, failing to play a single minute.

Marsch has already admitted this season that Struijk is going to play a big role at the club going forward.

The length of his new deal certainly suggests Leeds have a lot of faith in him to continue improving.

His versatility means Firpo may have a chance going forward to break into the team.

However, right now Firpo could be about to spend a long time on the bench playing second fiddle to Struijk.

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