West Ham have been dealt a crushing blow over one of David Moyes’ mooted transfer targets…
The Irons have been linked with a move for versatile Barcelona left-back Junior Firpo, with Spanish outlet Sport claiming that they were holding talks with the La Liga giants to ‘finalise an agreement’ back at the start of the month (via Sport Witness).
However, it appears the Hammers’ top-flight rivals Leeds United have won the race to seal his signature this summer. The ever-reliable ExWHUemployee delivered a fresh update on a recent episode of ‘The West Ham Way’ podcast.
“Firpo, the Barcelona left-back, is someone that we are interested in. It looks like he might be joining Leeds,” the trustworthy source claimed.
The Times also believe that the 24-year-old has opted for Elland Road over both Milan clubs, on top of West Ham.
Firpo is expected to cost the Whites in the region of just €15m (£12.8m), which represents considerable value for money and will only cause more pain in east London. Moyes is lacking options right across the pitch, and heading into a potential 50-plus game campaign, this has to be a major cause for concern.
The Barcelona outcast would have been an intriguing option on the left flank, whilst his versatility to play on the right and through the middle only bolsters his credentials further.
At times, the English veteran has also slotted into a back three, so there’s certainly a need for a new left-sided addition this window and Firpo was seemingly a cheap, ideal solution, especially considering that he’s only 24.
“He’s a player with a lot of potential. He could be one of the best left-backs in the world,” Barcelona legend Eric Abidal once claimed. “I always tell him that he must work hard and be aware of the (style of) play. He’s going to get better, for sure. It’s always difficult to get started at Barca.”
An average of 1.4 tackles, one interception and 0.7 dribbles per game (via WhoScored) certainly suggests that Firpo can contribute at either end of the pitch – just like Cresswell, who ended the 2020/21 season with the most assists (eight) in the West Ham squad.
Therefore, on the above evidence, Moyes will surely be gutted and perhaps a little angry that the club have let one of his targets join a Premier League rival who can’t even offer him European football.
The Scotsman will now have to go back to the drawing board in his search for left-back reinforcements.