Leeds’ transfer activity has been strong so far where finding depth is concerned, ensuring that the vast majority of positions in the squad are sufficiently covered.
However, the left-back slot is lacking any sort of cover right now with Junior Firpo out injured after Leif Davis left for Ipswich Town.
With the club reportedly actively in the market for a new left-back, the current onus is on Pascal Struijk to do his best as deputy.
Leeds’ final pre-season fixture saw the Dutchman put in a competent shift down the left, going both ways with solid attacking and defensive contributions.
However, the question had to be asked of Marsch in his pre-match press conference around whether he’s happy with just the 22-year-old as things stand (via Leeds United on YouTube):
“It’s not his natural position, but Pascal is still capable enough, he’s intelligent, he’s technically good.
“He understands the tactics, and he gives us the flexibility if we build with three, or if we want to build with four, and in the last matches, I think his flexibility has been quite good.
“We’ve worked a lot with him, shown him a lot of videos, talked with him about different faces of the game and what we want it to look like. He helps us on set-pieces by being a little bit bigger, he helps us defend a little bit harder in and around the box.
“So there’s benefits to having Pascal on the pitch in that position, and I think he’s taken it on that way, and he’s ready for a big season, and that he can show us that he can play that position quite well.”
Where will Leeds finish this season?
As makeshift options go, Struijk is one of the best that you’re going to get at left-back.
He has shown that he’s not just a solid defender, but also someone who can offer us a great deal going forward too.
As far as a long-term solution is concerned, I definitely think we need a new signing at left-back, because relying on either Struijk to fill in or Firpo to stay fit is very naive.
We are hopefully moving away from being content to get by with players covering more than one position, and this is a test to see if I’m right for hoping that’s the case.