Leeds United

Leeds United

Premier League • England

Jesse Marsch hints at next Leeds Utd signing after full extent of Junior Firpo injury blow emerges

Leeds United left-back Junior Firpo

Junior Firpo could miss the first month of the new season, and an injury crisis at full-back may prompt Leeds into making a late splash.

It’s fair to say Junior Firpo did not show his best qualities during his maiden campaign at Elland Road. The left-back struggled all season, amassing 11 yellow cards in just 23 league appearances.

The only way is up and with Jesse Marsch now at the helm, Leeds fans will be hoping Firpo can begin to justify his £12m price tag.

However, according to the American boss, Firpo’s chance to shine isn’t likely to come until September.

Firpo picked up an injury during Leeds’ 4-0 pre-season victory over Blackpool last weekend. As a precuation, he was not included in the travelling party for the tour to Australia.

However, Leeds’ fears have now been realised after Marsch confirmed Firpo has been ruled out for up to eight weeks.

“He’s most likely out for eight weeks,” Marsch said (via the Athletic).

“We’re hopeful that it’s a little bit faster because Junior healed really, really quickly last time after the MCL injury.”

With the winter World Cup prompting an earlier start to the Premier League season than usual, Firpo could miss up to six league matches if the eight-week estimate is accurate.

Stuart Dallas has covered at left-back before, though isn’t expected to return until the end of the year at the earliest after suffering a serious knee injury in late-April.

Luke Ayling could have been an option to deputise on the left following Rasmus Kristensen’s arrival. However, Ayling underwent knee surgery in May and could also miss the early stages of the new campaign.

Junior Firpo injury to spark late signing?

Marsch talked up the idea of giving youngster Leif Davis an opportunity, though also suggested a late addition at left-back may be targeted before the transfer window closes.

“We’re looking very closely at Leif Davis and we think he’s done really well,” Marsch added.

“We have also other solutions, like Pascal (Struijk) and potentially Jack (Harrison). But in the whole process, we were always evaluating what we would need at that position.

“So obviously this highlights that a little bit more clearly and we have time, we have time.

“When it comes to recruitment, I believe that Victor Orta and Gaby Ruiz do an incredible job of looking around the world, understanding what the demands of the style of football that the manager wants to play and then providing really good possibilities as to what those players could be and what the fits could be.”

Left-back addition more essential than ever

The left-back role would have been high on the list of areas Leeds fans wanted addressing prior to Firpo’s injury anyway.

Firpo’s struggles last season were there for all to see. And with Leeds’ two best players both leaving – Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips – the Whites cannot afford to carry weak links elsewhere.

Firpo’s injury has heightened the need for a new addition, though even if fit, an upgrade would have proved smart business anyway.