By Daniel Feliciano

3rd Jan, 2023 | 12:10pm

Phil Hay shares if Junior Firpo will leave Leeds United in January amid Max Wober signing

Phil Hay does not expect Junior Firpo to leave Leeds this month despite the arrival of £10m man Max Wober from Salzburg.

The Whites have completed a deal for Austria international Wober to come in as competition for left-back and centre-back, finally addressing a problem area for manager Jesse Marsch.

The signing has raised questions about the future of Spaniard Firpo at Elland Road, but speaking on the Phil Hay show (2 January, 22:28), The Athletic journalist expects him to stick around until the summer at least.

“It doesn’t sound as if there will be another left-back coming in, although we spoke to Marsch on Saturday after the game and he didn’t get into the subject of Wober at all,” he said.

“I don’t think you’ll see Firpo leave, I don’t think Firpo will go.

“But it does make you question more again whether or not Firpo is going to find a way to settle into that position and to make it his.

“It’s common sense isn’t it. If someone else comes in who has a hand on that position, can play there, is going to want to play there.. Wober is Salzburg’s captain. He’s not going to come to Leeds with the expectation of sitting on the bench for weeks. He’ll expect to get games here, and he’ll want to get games here.

“I would be really, really surprised to see Firpo moving on elsewhere this month, but long term it does leave a question mark over him yeah.

“I think the reason he won’t be moving on is because Marsch does want him in the squad, but it does make me wonder if it came further down the line where Leeds were looking for a club for him, if it doesn’t work out for Firpo, how they will use his period in England to market him.”

Future

It really is last chance saloon for Junior Firpo now if he wants to have any sort of future at Leeds and Elland Road beyond this season.

The Spaniard has never really settled in since joining from Barcelona in 2021, suffering with injuries and poor form. Now Pascal Struijk has made the position his own and the club are still strengthening.

That leaves him very little room for error and while Marsch is still keen on having him around, if the second half of the season goes like the first has then there will be little need to have him at the club next season.

The club spent around £10m to bring him to the club, so they would surely look to recoup that money having now signed Wober for a similar amount, but staying for the second half of the season will allow him a small glimmer of hope to win his place back.

It’s a long shot for sure, but Firpo won’t be going anywhere this month unless something shocking happens.

In other Leeds news, Victor Orta “definitely has had an eye” on £16m hotshot for January says Phil Hay