Leeds United are reportedly looking to sign a new left-back this summer after one observer suggested that Junior Firpo may never be seen in a Whites shirt again.
The full-back arrived from Barcelona in the summer to replace Ezgjan Alioski. The popular Macedonian departed on a free transfer, while Firpo was a £12.8m signing from Barca at the start of July. However, in his 19 Premier League appearances for Leeds, Firpo is yet to really convince.
There has been flashes of improvements. For example, Firpo played well in the 3-2 defeat at Chelsea, a match many feel is his best game for Leeds United.
However, by and large, he has struggled to adapt to life in the Premier League.
For example, he was given a torrid time when facing Brighton’s Tariq Lamptey down at the Amex. And he was also caught out of position in the 3-0 home defeat to Aston Villa just last week.
And with just one assist to his name, Firpo has collected nine bookings this season.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the player also suffered what appeared a season-ending knee injury in the latter stages of that loss against Villa.
Speaking after Firpo was stretchered off, new boss Jesse Marsch says the full-back will be “out for a while” with a suspected medial collateral ligament injury.
Leeds, however, are yet to confirm how long Firpo faces on the sidelines. However, Firpo was clearly in a lot of discomfort as he left the field. That has left plenty to suggest his season may well be over in what is another injury blow for Leeds.
That said, Stuart Dallas stepped across to play left-back against Norwich on Sunday and enjoyed a solid game.
Now, pundit Kevin Phillips claims Firpo may have played his last game for Leeds.
Junior Firpo ‘hasn’t worked out’
Speaking to Football Insider, he says Marsch will ‘not mess about’ when it comes to finding an upgrade.
“It looks like he’s picked up a really bad injury there, first of all,” he said.
“But it’s just really not worked for him in a Leeds shirt at all.
“I don’t think they have time to mess about in the transfer window now. They can’t stand by and wait for him to reach the required level; they need him to be ready now.
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“If they were to drop down to the Championship that could be a more suitable league for him to find his feet in. But that obviously isn’t the ideal scenario for them.
“Hopefully Junior Firpo can make a speedy recovery but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s not around next season.”
Dallas assesses Leeds win over Norwich
Dallas, meanwhile, has urged Leeds not to forget the crucial intervention from Ilan Meslier in Sunday’s win over Norwich.
Deep in injury-time, sub Joe Gelhardt made it 2-1 to Leeds to send the home fans wild. Still, Norwich were not done there and Leeds had Meslier to thank for a fantastic save right at the end.
Dallas said: “It wouldn’t be us if we didn’t make it hard for ourselves, would it? You could see the emotion at the end there.
“It’s a massive win. We’ve been below our standards for whatever reason this season but that was a step forward for us. Disappointed how we conceded the goal but it showed the mentality of the group to get one at the other end.
“It’s relief I think. When we scored to go 2-1 up we still have to credit Illan Meslier with a save at the end. The emotions at the end… This is why you play football, for moments like this.”