Leeds Live’s Beren Cross has delivered his verdict on Leeds United’s summer signing Junior Firpo amid a mixed start to life at Elland Road.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side signed the flying left-back from Spanish giants Barcelona in the summer, and he’s been thrust straight into the action in the Premier League, playing five out of the first six games and completing the full 90 minutes in the past three.
The Whites have struggled as a team however, lying in the bottom three heading into this weekend’s fixture against Watford at home, and Cross has now delivered his take on Firpo’s first few weeks at the club.
He said: “On the face of it, picking up a Barcelona left-back for less than £15m looked good value and it’s too early to say it won’t prove to be good value. We are six league matches into Firpo’s Leeds career. It’s unfair to to say he’s not going to work out for United.
“The raw materials are there. It’s down to him and Bielsa to unlock that potential. Alioski was a separate matter. The club wanted to keep him, made him an offer, but the bottom line is he was offered a lot more money elsewhere and he has a family to think about long after retirement.”
While Firpo may not have been a regular starter at the Camp Nou last season – he played just 18 times in all competitions – he is the kind of attacking left-back who seems to be a perfect fit for Bielsa’s Leeds.
In his real breakthrough season with Real Betis during the 2018/2019 campaign, Firpo managed three goals and four assists in La Liga, as well as averaging 0.8 shots, 0.8 key passes and 1.3 dribbles per game.
The fact he’s had a difficult start to life at Leeds, at a time where the team as a whole has been struggling it should be said, should not disguise the fact that he will take some time to settle in.
Perhaps more than any club in the Premier League, adjusting to things at Elland Road with Bielsa’s notoriously intense tactics and famed pressing is arguably the most difficult.
Leeds fans simply have to be patient with someone like Firpo, but his attacking instincts should see him really shine eventually when he finds his feet in English football.