With the international break looming, Leeds United defender Pascal Struijk is facing a tough decision over his international future.

  • By Michael Bell
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The 21-year-old was born in Belgium to Dutch parents and grew up in the Netherlands, playing in the Ajax academy. He also represented the Netherlands at youth level up to U17 level.

In recent weeks, news has come out that Struijk is looking into obtaining a Belgian passport, which is essential if the defender was to play for the Red Devils. This comes after Belgian national team boss Roberto Martinez showed interest in calling the centre-back into the squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

So far, Struijk has heard nothing from the KNVB with a call-up to the full Dutch national team looking unlikely at the moment with Sven Botman and Perr Schuurs the young defenders currently ahead of him in the pecking order. Then there is Matthijs de Ligt, Joel Veltman, Daley Blind, Stefan de Vrij and Nathan Ake.

However, in March, the U21 European Championships begins with the Netherlands involved. Struijk could be called into Jong Oranje’s squad in a sign that the KNVB is focused on keeping the youngster attached to the Netherlands.

All eyes will be on the provisional squads that will be announced in the coming weeks. At the moment it appears more likely that Belgium will win the race for the defender, but that could change if the KNVB makes their move.




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