'His heart lies with the Netherlands' - Leeds United's Pascal Struijk turns down advances of Belgium boss Roberto Martinez

Pascal Struijk will not be called up by Belgium this month.

Friday, 5th March 2021, 6:40 pm
Leeds United defender Pascal Struijk. Pic: James Hardisty

Leeds United defender Pascal Struijk has set his sights on representing the Netherlands, according to Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez.

The 21-year-old was subject of interest from the Red Devils with Struijk eligible to represent the Netherlands, Belgium or Indonesia at international level.

Earlier this week Martinez confirmed that he had spoken to the Whites centre-back previously about a potential call-up and had hinted over an inclusion in his squad for the upcoming international break later this month.

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Struijk had applied for a Belgian passport in a bid to keep his options open while he mulled over a decision on who he would prefer to declare for.

The former Ajax academy product was born in Deurne but moved to Holland as a youngster and has represented the Flying Dutchmen at Under-17s level previously.

His impressive Premier League form under Marcelo Bielsa at Elland Road has attracted the attention of international onlookers, having been an important figure in the Whites' senior squad this term stepping in to plug gaps amid injuries.

Struijk, though, appears to have turned down the advances of the former Everton and Wigan manager in favour of the Netherlands - at least for the moment.

"It seems that his heart lies with the Netherlands," Martinez told La Dernière Heure over Struijk's international future.

"We have to respect that, even if his profile is interesting. I don't want to start a war between different federations. So he will not be in my selection. But that does not mean that the file is completely closed."