Leeds United confirmed today that the club has signed another player for the future, with 18 year-old Pascal Stuijk officially signing from Dutch giants Ajax. Struijk has represented The Netherlands at youth levels, and will start his English career with the U23s at Leeds.
Per the club’s official website:
The 18-year-old defender has signed a three-and-a-half year deal with the Whites, running until the summer of 2021.
Struijk started his career with ADO Den Haag, before moving to Ajax and has been capped for the Netherlands at Under-17 level.
The defender will immediately link up with Carlos Corberan’s Under-23 side and could make his debut in Friday’s clash with Birmingham City at Thorp Arch.
Don’t expect to see Struijk in the first team anytime soon. The young defender is certainly a player with a good amount of pedigree, but making the transition from The Netherlands to England will be difficult enough without throwing him on the bench on the first team.
Leeds have shown a commitment to rebuilding the youth ranks at the club after signing a number of players from all over Europe and England. The club has brought in 19 year-old central defender Aapo Halme from HJK Helinksi in this window already. The club also raided East London last week with the signature of 18 year-old striker Sam Dalby from Leyton Orient.
While it might frustrate fans in the short-term to not see a lot of progress on first-team signings, it’s still a good plan to snap up the signatures of good young talent. The club has sold off plenty of good young players in the past few years, and while they’ve had mixed fortunes after leaving the club, the point remains that building from within is the only way to get long-term success in the Championship and Premier League.
So welcome to the club Pascal, and hope to see you trot on the pitch at Elland Road in a few years!