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Leeds could sign a Struijk partner who is very similar to “Busquets”

Leeds United are currently preparing to launch a second attempt to gain promotion to the Premier League as another season in the Championship is around the corner for the club.

The Whites lost in the play-off final at Wembley last month as they were beaten 1-0 by Southampton and now there could be a change in their squad in the coming months.

Daniel Farke appears to be in the market for a new defender in the upcoming summer transfer window to replace starlet Joe Rodon.

The Wales international spent the 2023/24 campaign on loan at Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur, but the Whites did not have the option to make the deal permanent.

So, it remains to be seen whether they will be able to bring back the old Swansea colossus for a second time at Elland Road after failing to gain promotion outside the Championship.

The summer transfer window opens for business later this month and the Yorkshire-based outfit could make moves to bring in a new central defender instead of bringing Rodon back, if they fail to agree terms with Spurs or the player decides to move elsewhere.

It was recently reported by Afton Bladet, via The 72, that the Whites are one of the teams interested in signing the defender of St. Paul Eric Smith.

The German team won 2. Bundesliga this season and will be promoted to the Bundesliga next term, having achieved what Leeds failed to do and worked their way out of the second tier.

Fellow Championship side West Bromwich Albion are also said to be in the hunt for the Swedish titan to bolster Carlos Corberan's defensive tactics.


However, the report did not reveal that St.

The German club are currently in the process of losing their coach Fabian Hürzeler to Brighton & Hove Albion, according to Fabrizio Romano, and that could affect any potential deal.

St. Pauli may want to wait until there is someone to replace him so they can judge the team and make decisions on players including Smith.

If Leeds wait and finally win the race to sign the 27-year-old colossus, however, they could find Pascal Struijk's dream partner back next season.

Pascal Struijk's troubled season at Leeds

The Dutch star missed the second half of the 2023/24 campaign through injury, forcing midfielder Ethan Ampadu to play at full-back alongside Joe Rodon, meaning his return next term could allow the Welshman to return to the middle. of the park.


A groin injury at the start of 2024, his last appearance against Preston North End on Boxing Day, ended the defender's chances of playing during the club's promotion period.

However, Farke revealed that the left-footed ace will return in pre-season after undergoing surgery on his groin injury in March this year, suggesting the Whites star will be ready for the start of the season.

In the first half of this season, however, Struijk showed his quality both on and off the pitch at Leeds level in the Championship.

[FBCharts]    Pascal Struijk (1)

As you can see from the chart above, he ranks in the top 2 percent of his peers in passing percentage at 90 (6.61) and in the top 10 percent in passing accuracy (89.9%).

This speaks to his forward-thinking and forward-thinking approach, which is important in his formation from the back as a full-back is always looking to play forward effectively and efficiently, rather than being safe and playing sideways and behind.

23/24 Championship

Pascal Struijk



Tackle + encounter per game


Football possession per game


Ground duel success rate


Aerial duel success rate


Statistics with Sofascore

As you can see from the table above, Struijk was also a strong operator on the ball as he won many of his physical battles on the deck and in the air.

Leeds can now team up with the right-sided centre-back to fill the left-foot gap by securing a deal to sign Smith this summer.

Why Leeds should sign Eric Smith

Firstly, he is a right-footed full-back who would be deployed on the right side of a central defensive team, perfect for the left-footed, left-footed Struijk.

Smith, like the Dutchman, is also a full-back who likes to move the game forward with his passes to the team in possession.


The 27-year-old ace is ranked among the 9% of the 2. Playing average in the Bundesliga with 90 consecutive passes (5.83) and in the top 21% with 90 attempted passes (66.92), it speaks volumes about how he eats the ball. is something.

This is supported by the German football consultant Adam Khan once called him “Sergio Busquets” 2. The Bundesliga because of his ability to get into the middle and development plays with the ball at his feet, as a midfielder.

In addition to his incredible ability to play the ball, Smith is also a strong defender, like Struijk, who knows how to hold his own in duels on the deck and in the air.

2. Bundesliga

Eric Smith



Tackle + encounter per game


Football possession per game


Ground duel success rate


Aerial duel success rate


Statistics with Sofascore

As you can see from the table above, the Swedish ace won most of his battles against opposition strikers during his team's title-winning season in Germany.

As such, Smith is a full-back who is free to hold the ball as he is out, making him a modern full-back fit to fit into Farke's ball-eating Leeds squad.

This makes him a dream partner for Struijk at the back of the Whites as they could combine well as two players who can dominate the attackers while both can play at the back effectively.


Leeds could replace Anthony in £8.5m swoop for “absolute beast”

The Whites have been linked with interest in the Bundesliga striker this summer.

That is why the Yorkshire outfit should push to beat West Brom to their signature this summer if they fail to bring Rodon back to Elland Road.

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