“It’s not his natural position, but Pascal is still capable enough, he’s intelligent, he’s technically good.
“He understands the tactics, and he gives us the flexibility if we build with three, or if we want to build with four, and in the last matches, I think his flexibility has been quite good.
“We’ve worked a lot with him, shown him a lot of videos, talked with him about different faces of the game and what we want it to look like. He helps us on set-pieces by being a little bit bigger, he helps us defend a little bit harder in and around the box.
“So there’s benefits to having Pascal on the pitch in that position, and I think he’s taken it on that way, and he’s ready for a big season, and that he can show us that he can play that position quite well.”
As makeshift options go, Struijk is one of the best that you’re going to get at left-back.
He has shown that he’s not just a solid defender, but also someone who can offer us a great deal going forward too.
As far as a long-term solution is concerned, I definitely think we need a new signing at left-back, because relying on either Struijk to fill in or Firpo to stay fit is very naive.
We are hopefully moving away from being content to get by with players covering more than one position, and this is a test to see if I’m right for hoping that’s the case.
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