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Leeds: Junior Firpo cost Jesse Marsch big-time vs Leicester

Leeds United continued their disastrous recent run of form on Thursday night, with a struggling Leicester City side running out comfortable 2-0 winners over Jesse Marsch’s men at the King Power Stadium.

An early Robin Koch own goal and a 35th-minute strike from Harvey Barnes proved enough for Brendan Rodgers’ 19th-placed outfit to take all three points from the fixture, meaning the 16th-placed Whites are now winless in seven Premier League outings.

And, while the vast majority of the Leeds starting XI massively underperformed against the Foxes, Junior Firpo’s particularly horrendous display at left-back only compounded the argument that the 26-year-old is simply not good enough for the top flight of English football.

Indeed, being handed his first start of the season on the left of Marsch’s backline after Pascal Struijk picked up an injury in midweek, the former Spain U21 international was undoubtedly one of the Whites’ worst performers on the night.

Over the course of his 82 minutes on the pitch, the £4.3m-rated defender was frequently beaten too easily at the back, being dribbled past by an opponent on three separate occasions, winning just four of his 13 duels – a failure rate of 69% – committed four fouls and gave away possession of the ball 15 times.

The £55k-per-week full-back was also caught out of position far too often, including for the Foxes’ second of the match, with The Athletic’s Phil Hay stating in his match commentary on Twitter:

“Not for the first time, cut open down the left. Same trick – Firpo dragged out of position, Llorente forced to drift to cover, Leicester work it across to an unmarked Barnes who has the easy job of slotting home.”

This, coupled with his generally disappointing metrics, saw Firpo earn a SofaScore match rating of just 6.0 – ranking him as the second-worst player to feature in the match – while Leeds Live journalist Beren Cross also awarded the defender a lowly five in his own player ratings, as well as stating: “Consistently left space in behind as he roamed forward from left-back.”

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Furthermore, CBS Sports reporter Jake Winderman stated in a post on Twitter that he doesn’t “need to see Firpo or Llorente play for Leeds again” as “they’re just not good”, while James Marchment claimed the left-back looked “massively uncomfortable” and Joe Donnohue dubbed the 26-year-old “needless“.

As such, while it is true that the likes of Koch and Diego Llorente did not have their finest games against the Foxes, it is undeniable that Firpo’s display once again cost Marsch and his side big-time against the Foxes – something that is becoming an all too regular occurrence for the defender.