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Leeds United Join Race To Sign FC Barcelona Defender: A Massive Coup For Bielsa?

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

According to Mundo Deportivo, Leeds United have joined the race to sign Junior Firpo. The Barcelona defender is determined to leave Camp Nou in the summer, putting numerous clubs on red alert. As such, Leeds are expected to face stiff competition from league rivals West Ham and Southampton while Italian giants Inter Milan and AC Milan are also interested in the services of Firpo.

Junior Firpo’s Struggles At FC Barcelona

Junior Firpo joined FC Barcelona in the summer of 2019, for a fee of around €18 million. He was brought in as a short-term understudy and a long-term replacement for the ageing Jordi Alba.

However, two years since his move to Camp Nou, Firpo has emerged as one of the outcasts of the Barcelona camp. He has struggled to establish himself as a first-team option for the club, notching up a total of under 300 minutes of league football this past season. The left-back is not even included in Ronald Koeman’s plans for the new season, with the Dutchman pushing for a new signing.

That hasn’t deterred suitors from circling in on Firpo, who is regarded highly due to the offensive prowess he brings to the table. He is quite versatile and can operate on both flanks while pace makes the full-back a scourge for the defenders on the counter.

Firpo is particularly good when it comes to providing width going forward. His pace also helps him recover ground quickly – making him an ideal fit in a more dynamic tactical philosophy.

Leeds United have joined the race to sign Junior Firpo - Does he have what it takes?
Junior Firpo Barcelona, MARCH 3, 2021 – Football / Soccer : Spanish Copa del Rey Semi final 2nd leg match between FC Barcelona, Barca 3-0 Sevilla FC at the Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain. Noxthirdxpartyxsales PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxJPN 155336460

Is Firpo A Good Fit At Leeds United?

Leeds United are on the hunt for a new left-back this summer as Ezgjan Alioski’s future at Elland Road hangs in the balance. Even if the North Macedonian international remains at the club, Marcelo Bielsa is still in desperate need of a proper left-back if he is to continue playing Stuart Dallas in midfield.

Junior Firpo might be ideal for that job despite his struggles at FC Barcelona. As mentioned earlier, the left-back has the speed that makes him quite useful going forward.

He is a keen runner as well, which allows him to operate as a wing-back and even as a winger if required, while his versatility means the 24-year-old can provide cover for right-back Luke Ayling.

Firpo didn’t provide much creativity during his time at Barcelona. However, what he lacks in chance creation, he makes up for his with his overlapping runs out wide, coupled with his speed and aggression – making him an ideal fit under the tactical philosophy of Bielsa.

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