Leeds United

Leeds United: Smyth wouldn’t bring Junior Firpo back into the side any time soon

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Leeds United left-back Junior Firpo should not be brought back into the starting line-up whilst Pascal Struijk is fit.

That is according to the Yorkshire Evening Post’s Graham Smyth, who was speaking on the latest Inside Elland Road podcast ahead of this weekend’s visit of Bournemouth.

Firpo has been an unused substitute in Leeds’ last two Premier League fixtures, with his last appearance coming in the 2-0 defeat at Leicester City in October.

The 26-year-old played in the under-21 side’s Papa John’s Trophy penalty shootout defeat at Crewe Alexandra this week and didn’t particularly stand out, despite being one of the few senior players on the pitch. 

And Smyth believes that Firpo, who signed for Leeds in the summer of 2021 for a reported fee of £13m, is in no position to displace Struijk from the current Leeds side.

Struijk is not coming out of the team for Junior Firpo, that’s just not going to happen,” Smyth told the Inside Elland Road podcast (26:00).

“The only way that happens is if Struijk picks up an injury at the minute, because he’s head and shoulders above where Firpo is from what we’ve seen. 

“Even against Crewe, I wasn’t particularly struck on Firpo’s performance.

“Certainly not to the degree where you think he could displace Pascal from the side.”

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TIF Thoughts on Smyth’s comments…

Judging on both Struijk and Firpo’s SofaScore ratings, it seems that Smyth has a genuine point about the former Barcelona man’s unlikely chances of getting back into the team.

Struijk is rated as the Whites’ joint fifth-best performing player in the Premier League so far this campaign, with an average rating of 6.92, whilst Firpo is ranked as the lowest rated player in the side, with a poor rating of 6.30 for his showings in the top-flight so far this campaign.

Therefore, we believe that there is no reason to suggest that Marsch will drop the Belgium-born defender in favour of the former Real Betis man.

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