Leeds United

View: 26-year-old has no immediate role to play at Leeds United under Jesse Marsch

Image for View: 26-year-old has no immediate role to play at Leeds United under Jesse Marsch

Junior Firpo finds himself in an odd situation at Leeds United in that he’s the club’s only recognised left-back, yet has been limited to just a single start in the Premier League this season.

Leeds have left themselves short in the left-back area and Pascal Struijk has been the man to step out of the centre of defence to play on the left.

Jesse Marsch handed Firpo a start in the 2-0 defeat to Leicester City, whilst he’s made a further appearance from the bench and has also started the EFL Cup defeat to Wolves. When Leeds are at full strength, though, it’s Struijk that gets the nod.

Our writers Kris (FA5) and Alfie (N12) discuss Firpo here and whether or not they can see the 26-year-old coming back into Marsch’s plans on the other side of the World Cup break:

With Firpo, I think it all depends on how highly Marsch rates him as a long-term option for the club.

That said, he can’t think that much of him as a guaranteed starter when Pascal Struijk (a centre-back) has remained in position despite Firpo’s return to full fitness.

The January window does give us a chance to make a left-back signing, not only to strengthen there, but get Struijk back in his proper position.

I just don’t see much of a long-term future for Firpo here, and any moves to sign competition for him in January would be a strong indicator from Marsch that he’d rather be without him in the side.

For now, Struijk has to play there.

The big updated Junior Firpo quiz – Can Leeds United fans score 20/20?

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Who did Firpo start his senior career with?

We don’t know what training is going to be like in the coming weeks and injuries might force Marsch’s hand, but if everyone is fit and available for the Man City game on December 28th, the safe money is on Struijk at left-back with Firpo on the bench.

Firpo just hasn’t done enough in the games he’s played this season to alter my thinking with that. Struijk on the other hand is just too good to leave out completely and slotting him into the side at left-back means a big decision doesn’t have to be made on Liam Cooper.

Beyond the City game is Newcastle United and then the January transfer window, where it is quite obvious that Leeds need to be targeting a left-back given Marsch’s reluctance to use the only recognised option he’s got in his squad.

It could be, then, that in a couple of months, Firpo isn’t even making the bench for Leeds, which would surely put his long-term future at the club in serious doubt.

For now, though, he’s nothing more than a bench option in Marsch’s best side and has done very little to prove otherwise.

Should Struijk keep his place at left-back when Firpo is fit?





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Leeds United Season Ticket Holder at Elland Road for over 20 seasons. Currently nestled in N12, but occasionally offering views from the press box. We’ve been through it all together? You bet.