A number of Leeds United fans have taken to Twitter to react to comments made by Marcelo Bielsa – and reported by Leeds Live – ahead of Friday’s clash with Aston Villa in which he confirmed that Pascal Struijk will replace Kalvin Phillips at Villa Park.
Leeds’s preparations have not been ideal. The Whites were already without Diego Llorente and Liam Cooper for Monday’s defeat to Wolves.
The club subsequently confirmed on their official website that Phillips was set to be sidelined for up to six weeks due to a shoulder injury sustained in the loss.
Bielsa insisted, in comments reported by Leeds Live, that it is too soon to say how long Phillips will be sidelined for. However, he did suggest that it will be Struijk who moves into defensive midfield later this week.
The news on the Dutchman is a boost for Leeds. Struijk was taken off during the latter stages of their clash with Wolves. So there may have been concerns over whether he himself would be available.
And while losing Phillips is a huge blow, many feel that Struijk is the best replacement. The 21-year-old was outstanding in the role during the final games of last season.
He has continued to impress after featuring in his more natural position of centre-back this term. So plenty are confident that Struijk will do a good job of stepping in for Phillips.
Here is what some of the supporters made of Bielsa’s comments…
Happy with Struijk replacing Philips. It’s the CB role which is a worry. I was scared when Ayling played CB in the championship… In the PL… I just can’t see how we can win this game unfortunately. A hard few weeks ahead tbh.
— Ben (@benji_coops) October 21, 2020
Pascal is getting better every time he is played, he will be a key member of our defensive team team this season..
— Lee Grimes (@leegrecruiter) October 21, 2020
I’d have kept Struijk at the back with Koch, moved Dallas in to Phillips role and put Alioski at left back.
— Patrick Baker (@bakerthepatrick) October 21, 2020
Struijk playing CDM tbf i’m all for it
— Ben (@MeslierSZN) October 21, 2020
Struijk was excellent for us for the last few games of last season at DM so I have full confidence in him on Friday. We’ll maybe see Bill in at CB with Dallas at RB & Alioski in at LB? https://t.co/rGCfdpsgBv
— Paul LUFC 🏆🥇🇬🇧💙💛🇬🇧🥇🏆 (@Paullufc888) October 21, 2020
Struijk is gonna pocket the entire Villa attack hth https://t.co/yUjetw1GLp
— Ryan (@SweatyMcGoober) October 21, 2020
Massive relief if Struijk is fit after all, it makes missing Kalvin considerably less daunting. Big physical presence & his passing is superb. Also a goal threat from set-pieces. More worried about missing Cooper now. #lufc https://t.co/R43E9U2h61
— Tommy (@tommy_lufc) October 21, 2020
Least Struijk ain’t injured thank god https://t.co/XQewg0Y1hE
— St3nn4💙💛 (@kevstenna19) October 21, 2020