Leeds United

Noel Whelan loved the hunger shown by Pascal Struijk when he headed home a consolation goal for Leeds United as they lost 4-2 to Arsenal. 

The former Leeds man, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, stated his joy at seeing the “fearless” and “aggressive” play of the youngster.

Struijk, 21, scored Leeds’ first in Sunday’s defeat though his bullet header proved to be nothing more than a consolation despite Helder Costa scoring another goal later in the second half.

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It was a rifled effort as Struijk climbed above his man to fire home his first goal for Leeds after missing several chances in the previous game against Crystal Palace.

Whelan was blown away by the goal but noted that the header came from the only good cross that was sent into the box by Raphinha all afternoon.

“He was obviously making up for last week because he missed three sitters,” Whelan told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs.

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“He could’ve had a hat-trick last week against Crystal Palace. From that point, last week, I could see that he is someone who’s aggressive. 

“He wants to go towards the ball, he’s fearless and not afraid of getting hurt. That’s a refreshing sight because Cooper scores a few goals but Struijk looked like he was really hungry to get on the end of that cross.

“It’s the only good ball from a set-piece that Raphinha actually put in all afternoon. So it goes to show, if you put the ball in the right area this kid will attack it. 

“What a header, he must be overjoyed to get on the scoresheet.”

Arsenal leapfrogged Leeds in the Premier League table with their win as a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hat-trick and Hector Bellerin finish proved too much for Marcelo Bielsa’s men.

Leeds will look to get back to winning ways on Friday when they welcome Wolves to Elland Road.

In other news, it’s a “foregone conclusion” Leeds United are set to tie star to blockbuster new deal.