By Mark Smith

29th Oct, 2021 | 7:45pm

Junior Firpo replaced early after starting Leeds U23s clash v Arsenal

Leeds United defender Junior Firpo was named among the starters this evening as they took on Arsenal at Elland Road.

The Spaniard has been missing for most of October with an injury issue, but looks to have overcome that quickly.

Marcelo Bielsa confirmed earlier today that Firpo should be available and fine for the trip to Norwich on Sunday too.

That makes his selection this evening slightly confusing.

Or does it? Bielsa didn’t confirm Firpo would be ready and it looks as though that was just in case this evening didn’t go to plan.

Joe Urquhart has shared a major development on the defender on his personal Twitter account, with him coming off unscathed after half-an-hour.

“Just half an hour for Junior Firpo tonight,” he wrote. “He’s replaced by Leo Hjelde.”

Smart.

This looks as though it was always the plan, and Bielsa will have wanted some valuable minutes back on the grass for Firpo.

With Luke Ayling and Jamie Shackelton doubts, he is all but certain to start at Carrow Road on Sunday afternoon.

Stuart Dallas would cover the space on the right, leaving the left-hand side for the former Barcelona man in East Anglia.

It is a must-win game for the Whites, and Bielsa will have been wanting to make sure that Firpo wouldn’t be a passenger after a couple of weeks out.

Given that he got through without injury, it looks as though he has passed that test and is ready to get back to Premier League action.

In other Leeds United news, Sky Sports have hinted if Raphinha will be out for the long-term with his injury problem