When Leeds United splashed £13m on the signing of Junior Firpo last summer, Victor Orta would be forgiven for believing that he had secured the Whites’ first-choice left-back for the foreseeable future.
Indeed, after joining Barcelona in what was a €30m (£25.5m) deal back in 2019 – with the former Spain U21 international being handed a five-year deal that included a €200m (£170m) release clause – the 25-year-old went on to make 41 appearances for the LaLiga side over his two-year spell at the Camp Nou, helping the Catalans lift the Copa Del Rey in 2020/21.
However, despite these early expectations, the £55k-per-week full-back has endured a torrid debut campaign in English football, suffering a number of injury setbacks and turning in a great many underwhelming performances on the left of Jesse Marsch’s backline.
Indeed, over his 22 Premier League outings this season, the £10.8m-rated defender has offered next to nothing going forwards, scoring no goals, registering two assists and creating three big chances for his teammates, in addition to making an average of 0.9 key passes, taking 0.4 shots and completing 0.3 crosses per game.
The Dominican Republic international has also failed to impress in metrics more typical of his position, helping Leeds keep just one clean sheet, as well as being beaten by an opponent an average of 1.1 times per fixture.
These returns have seen the 25-year-old who Paul Robinson dubbed “inexcusable” average a quite disastrous SofaScore match rating of 6.57, ranking him as the Whites’ seventh-worst performer in the top flight of English football.
As such, while it is true that the £100k-per-week record signing Rodrigo also looks as if he could be moving onto pastures new this summer, it would appear an extremely wise move for Orta to also tell Firpo to pack his bags at the end of the current campaign – something which has been predicted – as the former Barca starlet simply does not look cut out for the English game.