Barcelona Defender Is On Napoli’s Radar This Month: Should Koeman Sanction His Departure?

Arsenal failed to agree on a deadline-day deal for Firpo who is seen in the photo
Junior Firpo of FC Barcelona reacts during the Liga match between Real Betis Balompie and FC Barcelona at Estadio Benito Villamarin on February 09, 2020 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

In a recent report, Gianluca Di Marzio has mentioned that Barcelona defender Junior Firpo is on Napoli’s radar this month with the Catalans open to letting the player go out on loan. Another report from AS has suggested that Granada are also interested in recruiting the Barca full-back.

Firpo’s Unimpressive Season In Spanish Football

Firpo has experienced a frustrating season at the Nou Camp so far as he has struggled to earn regular playing minutes under the stewardship of Ronald Koeman. He has featured in ten matches for the Spanish giants this term, picking up one assist and one yellow card across multiple competitions.

The 24-year-old has struggled to impress with his performances this season after averaging 0.5 interceptions, 1.0 clearances and 1.0 key passes per game in La Liga. At least, Firpo has been tidy when distributing the ball based on his pass completion rate of 91.1% in the Spanish top tier (stats via whoscored).

The Portuguese left-back is highly versatile as he can also fill in as a right-back if needed, which makes him a good squad player at the Nou Camp. However, the lack of game time has hampered his development, which has increased his need to either go out on loan or seal a permanent transfer away from Barcelona this month.

Barcelona's Junior Firpo is on Napoli's radar this month (Firpo is in action in the picture)
Junior Firpo of FC Barcelona controls the ball during the Liga match between FC Barcelona and Getafe CF at Camp Nou on February 15, 2020, in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)

What Does The Spanish Full-Back Bring To The Table?

Firpo has decent pace under his belt and can make some promising runs with the ball out on the wide areas. Standing at 1.84m, he has got a strong frame that allows him to win a few headers for his team. The Spanish sensation possesses a great work ethic and can whip in a few inviting crosses into the opponent’s penalty box. He can also read the danger quickly and can pull off several crucial interceptions at the back.

Should Koeman Sanction Firpo’s Departure This Month?

At the moment, Firpo is serving an ideal back-up to Jordi Alba at Barcelona. Hence, Koeman would be wise to keep hold of him beyond this month as he could still play an important role for them in the second half of this campaign.

Despite his lack of game time, Firpo has shown some promising signs over the past 18 months, so Barca should consider retaining his services for the long-run. Even if they decide to send the Spaniard out on loan, they should do so at the end of this campaign so that they have ample time to build a squad good enough to cope with his absence. All in all, Koeman should not sanction Firpo’s exit this month as he could still play an integral role for the Catalans in the coming months.

A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.