Leeds United are not expected to make any further signings to boost Marcelo Bielsa’s defensive core, according to the Yorkshire Evening Post.
The club had been considering a late flurry into the summer market to find the missing ten per cent that would make Marcelo Bielsa’s current squad complete, with the potential need for a new centre-back a pressing issue among the Elland Road faithful.
Players like Aston Villa’s James Chester and Burnley’s Ben Gibson have been touted as potential Pontus Jansson replacements to have made Director of Football Victor Orta’s shortlist, but it appears neither will be coming to West Yorkshire, this summer at least.
Instead, the club seem set to push on with Bielsa’s philosophy of having a small, close-knit squad, tightly packed with players that can be deployed in numerous positions – such as Kalvin Phillips and his aptitude to play superbly in defensive midfield, and be capable of stepping into the back four.
It is because of Phillips’ ability to be able to do such that the boss allegedly feels he can make do with just Liam Cooper, Gaetano Berardi and Brighton & Hove Albion loanee Ben White as his recognised senior centre-backs in 2019/20.
A fourth out-and-out centre-back will likely be included in the Argentine’s plans next season, though, with the YEP suggesting that man will be Under 23s ace Pascal Struijk.
The 6 ft 2 talent has been tipped to make the move from Carlos Corberan’s ranks to the fringes of the first-team, after emerging as a strong contender to be one of Bielsa’s key back-up options next term.
Deurne, Belgium-born Struijk joined the Whites academy in January 2018 from Ajax’s youth contingent, having spent the prior year-and-a-half in their U19s after moving on from his initial youth side ADO Den Haag.
The former Netherlands U17 international is yet to represent United in a senior competitive fixture, but has spent time around the first-team and made the bench for our two Play-Off Semi-Final encounters with Derby County last season, as well as one inclusion on the bench under Paul Heckingbottom.