The Whites snapped up the defender in a £12.8 million deal after he was deemed surplus to requirements by the Blaugrana, but he’s so far struggled to settle into life on English shores.
What is the latest news involving Firpo?
Former first-choice left-back Ezgjan Alioski departed Leeds on a free transfer following the conclusion of 2020/21, leaving former manager Marcelo Bielsa searching for his replacement.
And with Barcelona sanctioning a fire sale due to their extensive financial difficulties, the west Yorkshire outfit pounced, snapping up Firpo’s services on a four-year contract.
However, injuries and a natural adjustment period have limited the former Spain Under-21 international to just 13 Premier League starts to date, with his performances often leaving a lot to be desired.
As per WhoScored, Firpo has been Leeds’ 12th best performer this term after receiving a season rating of just 6.43, and when taking a closer look at his underlying numbers, it’s easy to understand why.
The attack-minded full-back has pulled off just 0.8 interceptions, 1.2 clearances and 0.2 blocks per league game throughout 2021/22, seeing him fall outside of the top eight for each metric when compared to his teammates.
What has O’Rourke said about Firpo?
Firpo’s price tag made him Leeds’ ninth most expensive signing in their history and their third most costly defender, behind just Rio Ferdinand and Diego Llorente.
Nevertheless, he has found life at Elland Road tough, and O’Rourke believes he’s so far failed to solve what has been a problem position for a number of years.
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He told GiveMeSport: “He’s been inconsistent, I think that’s pretty fair to say. Junior Firpo obviously came from Barcelona as a big-money arrival.
“So, there’s a lot expected of him to fill that left-back role, which was a problem the previous season with Alioski playing there and Stuart Dallas being employed in that position quite a lot as well.”
Will Leeds avoid relegation?
Leeds made the controversial decision to sack the enormously popular Bielsa over the weekend after the 4-0 defeat to Tottenham.
Taking points off relegation rivals Norwich City, Watford and Brentford in their remaining fixtures could prove to be pivotal in Leeds’ fight for survival.