Marcelo Bielsa sent clear message over £12.8m Leeds flop

Marcelo Bielsa should persevere with Leeds United defender Junior Firpo, according to transfer insider Dean Jones.

Firpo arrived from Barcelona for a reported £12.8m in July, but has found things difficult in his maiden campaign in England.

How has Firpo fared at Leeds this season?

Firpo’s season has been disrupted by injuries but he has still managed to make 16 league appearances, including 12 starts.

Leeds may have been hoping that he would prove to be the ideal replacement for Ezgjan Alioski, who departed the club last summer.

However, Firpo has been unable to step up to the plate, and has been part of a Leeds side that have conceded 10 goals in their last two top-flight fixtures, with six of those coming against Liverpool at Anfield on Wednesday night. Following that game, the left-back was heavily criticised for his performance.

According to WhoScored, Firpo has only been his team’s 13th-best player this term, earning an average game rating of 6.46.

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What has Jones said about Firpo?

Jones has acknowledged that things have not gone to plan for Firpo at Leeds, yet he still thinks Bielsa should stick with the defender.

Reflecting on how the 25-year-old has struggled to find his best form at Elland Road, Jones told GIVEMESPORT: “Maybe it’s not the perfect fit, but I wouldn’t be giving up on him just yet.”

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Should Bielsa stand by Firpo?

Firpo only joined the Premier League outfit a little over six months ago, and some players do take a while to adapt to England’s top division.

Therefore, it would be a very harsh call from Bielsa to give up on Firpo already after less than a season at the club.

Then again, desperate times call for desperate measures. Leeds have picked up just a single point from their last four matches, and are shipping goals at an alarming rate – no side in the Premier League has conceded more.

They are now just three points above the relegation zone, and Bielsa cannot allow things to continue as they are, or his side could drop back down to the Championship.

With this in mind, he may be thinking about freshening things up and taking some players out of the firing line, and this could mean that Firpo starts to get left out more regularly in the coming weeks, starting with Saturday’s match away at Tottenham.

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