Firpo Arrival Adds to Leeds’ Threats
With Barcelona wing-back Junior Firpo making the switch to Leeds United this summer, the Whites look set to have a formidable left flank for the 2021-22 Premier League season.
Leeds were somewhat short of options at left-back last term, but the arrival of Firpo has the making of a great signing for manager Marcelo Bielsa.
Leeds Plug Gap at Left-Back
While Leeds United impressed on their return to the Premier League after a 16-year exodus, Bielsa was forced to pick from a small group of players. In fact, Leeds, who are 9/2 in the football betting to finish in the top six this season, used the joint-least number of players (21) throughout the 2020-21 campaign. With such a small pool of players used, Bielsa was forced to plug the gaps at left-back with Stuart Dallas and Ezgjan Alioski filling the role.
Alioski, who has moved on to pastures new this summer, worked tirelessly down the left flank but sometimes lacked that final ball to the likes of Patrick Bamford and Rodrigo in attack. The North Macedonia international was also found wanting at times when picking up opposition players at the back post in defence.
— Junior Firpo (@JuniorFirpo03) July 6, 2021
Dallas, especially in the early stages of the 2020-21 season was used at left-back, but Bielsa soon found the Northern Ireland international was far more effective in midfield. Dallas was Leeds’ Players’ Player of the Year and the Player of the Year for his efforts last term, and the 30-year-old is set to be a regular starter in midfield this season. The loss of Alioski and with Dallas pushed forward meant Leeds needed a new option at left-back, and the West Yorkshire outfit wasted little time in landing Firpo.
Firpo Set For Fresh Start
Firpo’s time at Barcelona did not go exactly as he would have hoped following his move from Real Betis back in 2019. However, there is no doubting that when fit and on form, the 24-year-old has the potential to impress in the Premier League. The Spain under-21 international is set to add even more pace to a Leeds side that is already brimming with speed.
Leeds United have signed Manchester City winger Jack Harrison on a permanent deal ✍️
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) July 2, 2021
Bielsa will be eager to see a positive partnership form between Firpo and the man in front of him on the left flank in Jack Harrison. After three seasons on loan at Elland Road, Harrison finally completed a permanent move from Manchester City this summer. Harrison created eight assists in the Premier League last season, and with Firpo set to be overlapping, the pair look like exciting options in the left channel for Leeds. Bamford, who scored 17 league goals last term, will be looking to benefit from the combination, as he pushes his case for a first call up to the England squad.
As Leeds hope to build on their ninth-place finish last season, the club’s first major summer signing in Firpo looks to be a great addition to the squad. If Bielsa can bring out the player that impressed back at Real Betis, then the Whites should have some wing-back on their hands.