Leeds United left-back Laurens De Bock has admitted that at first he did not find it easy to adapt to life at Elland Road after his transfer from Club Brugge in January.
De Bock, 25, moved to Leeds in a deal worth £1.5million after Thomas Christiansen was faced with a serious full-back issue due to Cameron Borthwick-Jackson’s loan spell ending and Luke Ayling being ruled out for the rest of the season.
The Belgian slotted straight into the starting line-up and did well in his first few games, but his form started to nosedive and he had a complete nightmare of a game against Derby in a 2-2 draw at Pride Park.
Paul Heckingbottom axed him for the next game stating that he had a home-grown quota to meet, but De Bock has struggled to get back into the side with Vurnon Anita and Tom Pearce appearing at left-back recently while an injury has also played havoc with his start to life at Elland Road.
Now, the left-back believes that he is beginning to settle down with the Championship club, but admits that there are a lot of differences to the way that the game is played in England’s second-tier to what he was used to on the continent.
“I’ve needed an adaptation period. If you’ve played a long time in Belgium this is a very different competition. The matches are much more physical and intense,” he said, as quoted by the Yorkshire Evening Post.
“It’s more fighting football, there’s no real building-up. There’s a lot of playing with the long ball and there are a lot of solid players.
“It was not easy to come here in the winter because everyone was already attuned to each other but all in all the adjustment went smoothly.”
Football Insider verdict
De Bock’s admission about struggling to settle to the Championship is a glaring reminder that Victor Orta is the wrong man to be in charge of Leeds’ transfers. Many fans are crying out for players to be signed who already have experience in England’s second-tier and maybe if a bit more money was spent in January, then Leeds would have themselves a left-back who hit the ground running. There were plenty of options to take on loan from the Premier League too with Southampton’s Matthew Targett one player who some fans seemed to want. De Bock needs to get back to fitness soon though because even though his form has tailed off, he is needed in the squad.