Why Signing Pascal Struijk Would End Up Paying Rich Dividends For Leeds United
Leeds United are on the verge of completing another January transfer, as they are poised to sign promising young defender Pascal Struijk from Ajax, as per reports from the Express.
The 18-year old is out of contract with the Dutch giants at the end of the season and the Whites have pounced on the opportunity to sign him up at the earliest, with the player reported to have travelled to England on Thursday to get the deal over the line.
Since the takeover of Andrea Radrizzani in the summer, Leeds have focused a lot on developing their youth teams and have invested heavily in a number of young players that have joined up with the junior sides.
The club had signed a host of talented youngsters in the summer, that included the likes of Bryce Hosannah, Oriol Rey, Ousama Siddiki, Adrian Balboa, Madger Gomes, Oliver Sarkic and Kun Temenuzhkov. They continued their youth recruitment drive in January as well, having signed Kamil Miazek, Aapo Halme and Sam Dalby earlier this month.
Now, it seems like Struijk is set to be the latest addition to the youth brigade at the Elland Road under Radrizzani and director Victor Orta. The 18-year old started off his footballing journey at SEV Leidschendam before securing a move to ADO Den Haag’s academy where he progressed to the U19 ranks. In 16 appearances for the team, he scored 6 times and assisted a solitary goal.
In 2016, the defender moved to Ajax and went straight into their U19 setup, despite his young age. Since his signing, Struijk has gone on to make 21 appearances for the Ajax U19 side, in which he has managed two goals and an assist. Struijk has also represented the Netherlands U17 international team on three occasions, having made his debut back in February 2016.
Standing at a little over 6ft 2in tall, the 18-year old has a well-built physique for someone of his age and there is still some scope for development. He could turn into a giant of a defender. A strong, physical centre-back with great technical abilities, which are highlighted by the fact that he has been used as a striker on several occasions throughout his youth career, Struijk has plenty of potential.
The 18-year old Netherlands youth international may not be the signing that the Leeds fans were craving for at the moment, but the club is looking towards building a strong team for the future and Struijk is another shrewd addition to their youth-centred policy that could end up paying huge dividends to the club a few years down the line.