Leeds United have been handed a timely injury boost ahead of their return to Premier League action this weekend…
According to Football Insider, left-back Junior Firpo has been given the all-clear to feature against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, handing Marcelo Bielsa a huge boost.
It’s thought that the 25-year-old, who signed for £12.8m from Barcelona in the summer, has fully recovered from muscle injury picked up on the training pitch and is now in contention to start in north London.
He has not featured for the senior side since early October – a 1-0 win over Watford – and has missed their last four league outings, as a result.
This will be a major source of encouragement for the Argentine head coach, not least because he’s a huge admirer of the Brazilian.
“When Junior manages to have the rhythm the Premier League imposes on you, he’s going to be a full-back that shines a lot,” he told reporters at the end of September (via LeedsLive). “He has all the physical and technical resources to generate moments of very good football.”
Leeds were already light on options in the left-back role and in his absence, a host of players have had to deputies, the latest of which being towering central defensive colossus Pascal Struijk.
The 6 foot 3 Dutchman was deployed out wide against Leicester City as Stuart Dallas had to cover for Jamie Shackleton, who was also injured, on the other wing.
And even then, the 22-year-old academy graduate is filling in for vice-captain Luke Ayling, who has been on the treatment table since mid-September.
As you can see, Bielsa has had to deal with numerous injury problems, so he will certainly be delighted by the return of Firpo this weekend, even more so as Antonio Conte’s system utilises the wide areas to great effect.
The Yorkshiremen will appear a lot stronger in these positions with a natural full-back available.
Firpo’s return is certainly a major boost and Bielsa will be buzzing to have him back.
AND in other news, Leeds could have their own Virgil Van Dijk in teenage “leader”…