By Joe Ellis

23rd Aug, 2022 | 10:10pm

Leeds United can relax in left-back search after Junior Firpo boost

Leeds United have been forced to play central defender Pascal Struijk as a makeshift left-back due to injuries and sales of other players.

The Dutchman has performed admirably in the unfamiliar role but Jesse Marsch would love to have a natural play there if at all possible and that could be coming sooner rather than later.

The manager could soon have Junior Firpo available once again after the Dominican international picked up an injury in pre-season.

“I think Pascal is doing great. I think Junior’s ready and he’s looked really strong even in rehab training,” Marsch said, as quoted by the Yorkshire Evening Post. “I think Leo played really well, Leo Hjelde played really well in the 21s game. And so currently I feel strong in that position.

“Maybe at the beginning of when Junior got hurt, we weren’t sure, but we wanted to look a little at least [at Leif] Davis, we wanted to look a little at Pascal, we wanted to look a little at Leo. And right now I feel like we’ve covered that position really well.”

Davis’ sale to Ipswich Town was made at a strange time with no other natural left-back fit to play at the club and perhaps they could have opted to hold on for just a few weeks before sanctioning the deal to be safe.

But in Struijk, Leeds have a very exciting young talent who can now play multiple positions and if that means he has to play away from his preferred central defensive role to get game time then so be it.

There is no need for a new left-back to be signed this summer now that Firpo is nearing fitness again and can be put into the matchday squad and take some of the pressure off Struijk.

As much of Victor Orta’s transfer budget as possible needs to be focused on a top-quality striker who can be the game changer, Leeds need with Patrick Bamford out for a while.

In other Leeds United news, ex-FIFA official Dermot Gallagher has explained a strange incident that occurred during the Whites’ 3-0 win against Chelsea.