ESPN has recently reported that Barcelona defender Junior Firpo is gathering interest from AC Milan and West Ham United this month. It is believed that the Catalans are open to letting the Spanish left-back leave during this January transfer window but are hoping to sell him permanently as they are in dire need to raise some money right now (via ESPN).
Firpo’s Growing Struggles At Catalonia This Season
It has been a season full of frustrations for the Dominican Republic-born defensive ace as he has failed to earn regular first-team starts at the Nou Camp. Firpo has made just ten appearances for Barca this term, registering one assist and one yellow card across all fronts.
The Spanish sensation has struggled to give a good account of himself due to the lack of playing minutes this season which could be why he is averaging 0.5 interceptions, 1.0 clearances and 1.0 key passes per match in La Liga. The 24-year-old has even distributed possession with a lot of conviction from the left flank after making 91.1% of his attempted passes in the Spanish first division (stats via whoscored).
At the moment, Firpo finds himself behind Jordi Alba in Ronald Koeman’s pecking order. Hence, it’s high time that he switched clubs either on loan or permanently in search of more game time in the coming seasons. His career at Barcelona has come to a standstill, so Koeman should not stand in his way unless he prefers to use him more often in the second half of this campaign.
What Does The Spanish Full-Back Offer On The Field?
Firpo can use his strong 1.84m frame to win some important aerial duels at the back. On his day, he can be a threat in the opposition half as he possesses the ability to deliver some dangerous crosses from the left flank. The Barca outcast can use his quickness to pull off a few energetic runs with the ball out on the wide areas. He is often quick to sense the danger that allows him to win possession back for his side.
Should Koeman Cut Firpo Loose This Month?
Firpo can benefit from joining another club on a loan deal or permanently this month. However, he has served as a decent deputy to Jordi Alba and has what it takes to replace the ageing Spaniard as Barca’s first-team left-back in the years to come.
Hence, Koeman should only consider letting Firpo leave on loan before deciding on his long-term future at the end of this season. At 24, the Spanish defender will only get better with each season, so he might turn his career around if the Catalans give him a chance to impress on loan, which could also increase his market value in the European transfer market next summer.
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