Leeds United captain Liam Cooper has backed Pascal Struijk to become “one of the best centre-backs” in the world.
The 22-year-old defender is one of the most highly rated young players at Elland Road.
Struijk joined Leeds from Ajax in January 2018 and broke into the Whites first-team two years later.
Marcelo Bielsa gave him a chance as Leeds marched on to the Premier League in 2019-20.
Two years on, Struijk has 50 competitive Leeds appearances under his belt and is a Premier League regular.
The Dutchman boasts the kind of quality and versatility that Bielsa absolutely loves.
Struijk has featured at centre-back and left-back as well as in defensive midfield, and has impressed in each role.
And Cooper, speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post, waxed lyrical about his defensive teammate.
“Pascal has absolutely everything to be one of the best centre-backs out there, he really has,” he said.
“He’s unbelievable on the ball, he’s strong, good in the air.
“I always knew. We all know now. His improvement speaks for itself.”
“So many good things in just one player”
Bielsa has also praised Struijk in the past.
Following his performance in the 2-1 win over Norwich this season, the Argentine complimented his versatility and his weak-foot ability.
“Not difficult for him to play in front of the centre-backs as a DM. He did so very well against Wolves,” Bielsa said, as per Leeds Live.
“On the left of a back three he does not suffer. Great area game, manages his right foot very well. That’s so many good things in just one player.”
Leeds certainly have a top talent in Struijk, already a proven Premier League player at just 22.
In the coming years, it’ll be great to see how he progresses under Bielsa.
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