Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa has been waxing-lyrical about both Pascal Struijk and Liam Cooper.
Bielsa is facing something of a selection headache this weekend as Cooper has returned from injury.
Struijk has been fantastic in Cooper’s absence, and as you can imagine, one thing that journalists wanted to ask Bielsa about was this selection dilemma.
Bielsa says that although Cooper has been excellent, Struijk has come from out of nowhere and his sudden emergence has put him firmly in their plans.
“I completely understand your question and you can understand I ask myself this same question.
“The theoretical answer I gave can be linked to this question. It helps construct an opinion to what you’re asking. Pascal has had very good performances and Cooper is our captain who has also had great performances but over a longer period of time. Both things are valuable, this sudden appearance of Pascal and everything that Cooper has done of course establishes a big difference because to play well is accessible but to play well over a longer period of time is very difficult.”
Bielsa is right about Struijk, he has come from out of nowhere to establish himself as one of Leeds’ better players.
The centre-back could barely get a look-in last season, but this term he’s putting himself ahead of some bona fide internationals in the pecking order at Elland Road.
Whether or not Cooper or Struijk start against Burnley remains to be seen, but we certainly don’t envy Bielsa for having to make this choice.