It will be a “huge blow” to the hopes of Leeds United securing promotion if they lost Pascal Struijk to Tottenham in January, according to Carlton Palmer.
The pundit told Football League World on 11 November that the “complete and mature defender” is now the “best in the Championship” and with that form it is inevitable that other clubs would be interested, especially Spurs who just lost Micky van der Ven to a “crippling” injury in their 4-1 defeat to Chelsea on 6 November.
Struijk, 24, has been tipped as a target for Ange Postecoglou although Palmer is certain the club will be doing all they can to convince him to stay and reach the top fight again at Elland Road.
Palmer said: “It is reported that Tottenham Hotspur are sniffing around Pascal Struijk. Spurs centre-back [Micky] van de Ven has sustained a crippling hamstring injury and is set to be sidelined for a considerable amount of time.
“They may be looking to recruit further defensive reinforcements in the January transfer window. They are running the rule on Leeds’ Dutch centre-half.
“He’s a very decisive defender and so comfortable on the ball. He’s becoming a complete and mature defender and the best in the Championship.
This would be a huge blow for Leeds United in their quest for promotion. Unfortunately for them, when a player is doing well, there is always unwanted attention.
“From the club’s perspective, Leeds will be hoping to keep hold of him and will be saying that – ‘you will be playing in the Premier League next season’.
The season so far has been characterised by Leeds United benefiting from defensive reinforcements from Spurs rather than the other way around.
Joe Rodon’s loan move has proven vital to anchor a back line that had been unsettled for so long, with the Welshman forming a formidable partnership with Struijk in the middle.
And while Djed Spence may have been injured after his Whites debut big things are still expected of the second temporary signing from Postecoglou’s squad when he comes back after the international break.
Daniel Farke is sure not to want to lose Struijk midseason, as he emphasised how important it was to have continuity at the back this week when he revealed that Rodon himself will not be called back to Spurs in January thanks to Van der Ven’s injury.
Minor hernia surgery for Struijk has forced the German to lose some continuity, with Liam Cooper stepping in for the 2-1 win over Plymouth Argyle this weekend, but he will want the injured man back as soon as possible.
It is actually hard to see Tottenham being willing to spend what it would surely take to prize Struijk away, as his strong half-season in the Championship likely doesn’t negate an inconsistent past two campaigns in the top flight.