Versatile Leeds United star Pascal Struijk “looked out of place” in their 1-0 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday.
That is the view of former Whites striker and boyhood Elland Road fan Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the 21-year-old’s display at Elland Road this weekend.
Struijk had started the Whites’ previous three games at centre-back but stepped into midfield against the Seagulls as Kalvin Phillips served a one-match ban after picking up five yellow cards.
The Netherlands Under-21 international failed to win any of his three attempted tackles but finished the game with a respectable 80.6 per cent pass completion rate, according to FBRef.
“There were too many six out of 10s all over the field, in my opinion,” Whelan told Football Insider.
“When you’re looking for 10 out of 10s, there’s none there, they were all average performances. Yes, they upped their performances a little bit in the second half but there wasn’t enough quality.
“I think Struijk looks out of place, playing Kalvin’s role. I’ve got to say I don’t think there’s anyone that can play Kalvin’s role in the team which is worrying for me. When he’s out we don’t seem to have that flow in our game going forward and the discipline in the defensive role.
“There weren’t too many players out there who covered themselves in glory.
“If you look at the goal they scored, it’s very unlike Stuart Dallas. It’s a little one-two around him and he’s ball watching. Then Neal Maupay drifts off the back of Luke Ayling, a very experienced player, because he’s ball-watching too and watching what’s happening with Dallas instead of doing his job which is marking the player.
“They won’t score an easier goal. That was just us going slack, going to sleep and in the end that has cost us the three points.”