Marcelo Bielsa has revealed that it will be Pascal Struijk that replaces Kalvin Phillips in the Leeds United midfield this Friday against Aston Villa.
Leeds have been dealt a significant blow, with Phillips ruled out of action for six weeks with a shoulder injury.
It has been revealed this afternoon by Bielsa who will replace him on Friday at Villa Park.
Phillips is the only specialist defensive midfielder that Bielsa has available to him. His absence causes a particular headache, but he’s found a solution in Struijk.
The Dutchman stepped into midfield towards the end of the Championship season and proved he’s comfortable there.
Despite his two Premier League appearances this season coming at centre-back, Bielsa has confirmed (as per Phil Hay) that he will now replace Phillips in the midfield.
Phillips is so important to us, but I’ve no issue with Struijk stepping into the midfield to replace him.
It does leave us short at centre-back, but in many ways, the holding midfielder is so much more important to our system than the centre-back.
We’ve still got Robin Koch at the heart of defence and a reshuffle would see Luke Ayling alongside him at centre-back if Cooper doesn’t make it.
In that event, Stuart Dallas goes to right-back, with Ezgjan Alioski or Leif Davis at left-back.
Our squad is adaptable, which is important here.
The absentees are key, but we’ve overcome similar hurdles before.