Leeds United left-back Junior Firpo is suspended for the penultimate game of the season as the Whites travel to West Ham.
Junior Firpo had an afternoon to forget at Elland Road last time out as Leeds drew 2-2 with Newcastle United, with the left-back having a hand in both of the Magpies’ goals, while also being sent off.
Having slipped in the build-up to Max Wöber’s foul on Alexander Isak, Firpo was booked in the second half for a hefty challenge on Bruno Guimaraes, before giving away a penalty of his own with his arm inexplicably outstretched above his head.
Having somehow not been given a second booking throughout, he made sure he was sent off late on when he barged through the back of Anthony Gordon who was almost clear on the edge of the box.
It leaves him serving a one-match ban, so he misses the trip to West Ham, and it ought to be the last time he plays for the club.
Here, we look at the two reasons why he needs to be sold in the summer…
He cannot be relied on consistently
A brief purple patch earlier in 2023 is something that has since been forgotten now really, with Firpo reverting to type as calamity reigns down Leeds’ left channel.
While he does offer Leeds more in attack than he had done previously – winning the penalty which Bamford missed – that is far outweighed by the errors at the back.
Leeds under Allardyce are trying to be as tight as possible and to keep clean sheets, you cannot allow for such common mistakes.
From the summer, Leeds need to be looking at someone who can produce far more consistent performances.
West Ham v Leeds predictions?
West Ham win
We need to finally improve at left-back
It seems incredible to think that Leeds haven’t had a properly consistent left-back option since Charlie Taylor left the club in 2017.
It’s hard to count Gjanni Alioski (defensively poor) or Stuart Dallas (Mr Versatile who was forced to cover three positions at once) as real left-backs, and the reliance on one player to cover the position on their own isn’t good enough.
No matter the division Leeds end up in, there has to be better investment into the position, because Firpo being our first and only option isn’t enough.
There aren’t a shortage of options out there for Leeds to look at, both domestically and abroad.