Leeds United

Leeds United: Conor McGilligan coy over starting Junior Firpo this weekend

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YouTuber Conor McGilligan has remained cautious over the possibility of starting Junior Firpo for Leeds United on Sunday.

Firpo, who was signed in 2021 for £13.5m from Barcelona, is yet to feature under Jesse Marsch this season after picking up a hamstring injury during a pre-season friendly against Blackpool, which has seen Leeds play centre-back Pascal Struijk in his place.

Despite his injury, Leeds did not bring in any left-back cover over the summer, and that may be a decision set to pay off, with Firpo seemingly in line to return this weekend when they take on Aston Villa.

However, discussing the defender on his YouTube channel, McGilligan isn’t convinced by throwing him straight into the starting lineup.

“I’m a little bit more tentative about throwing him in.

“We saw in the Blackpool game – which is the only thing we’ve had of him so far – where he was caught out a couple of times by Josh Bowler defensively, but he did get forward, he provided an assist, I believe he got a goal as well, a nice headed finish. That’s the only thing we can see him on, really, when it comes to this season.

Do you want Firpo to start on Sunday?





“But I keep getting shudders of last season, and the Villa game, in particular, he was horrific. I’m just getting a little bit worried. If Villa play very expansive, if they play very, very wide – which Gerrard has done in pre-season against us, against Jesse Marsch and in that 3-0 win, he makes the pitch as wide as possible against Leeds… are you not a little bit nervy about Junior Firpo coming straight back in for that game?”

TIF Thoughts on Firpo returning…

It seems only natural and a bit of a no-brainer for Marsch to start Firpo on Sunday as it would allow Leeds to have a natural left-back in that position – something they’ve not managed all season. Meanwhile, the fact Struijk was part of the back four that shipped five in their last game, Marsch has plenty of reasons to ring the changes.

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However, given Firpo was indeed heavily criticised for his last outing against Villa last season, they may look to expose him once again having not played a competitive game since the end of last season. Therefore, Marsch may rather introduce the defender from the bench instead of starting him.

Firpo, who has now had a prolonged period of time to build up his fitness with Leeds’ last match coming back on 3rd September, will be eager to get going this season and show people he’s improved from some ‘horrific’ showings.

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