Leeds United board have 'irresistible carrot' at problem position amid Junior Firpo injury
Leeds United won’t bring in any help at left-back before the window shuts because Junior Firpo will be fit around that time, believes Beren Cross.
Pascal Struijk filled in at the problem position for the opening weekend win against Wolves, and as a converted centre-back his limitations were on display, especially for the opening goal.
But with only around three weeks left of the transfer window it doesn’t look like there is a new signing imminent, with the former Barcelona man’s return from injury apparently the main development still to come.
The ex-Spain under-21 international did not set the world alight in his debut season at Elland Road, but looks to have been entrusted with the left-side of the defence going forward all the same.
Cross believes that the fact that Firpo is due back within a couple of weeks of deadline day will be too much for the decision makers at the club to resist.
Writing in his latest Q&A for Leeds Live he said: “A left-back seems even less likely. There have been no credible links to anyone in the market and the closer we get to deadline day the closer we get to Junior Firpo’s return, which will be an irresistible carrot for the board, who evidently feel comfortable with Pascal Struijk as a back-up for the season.”
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Maybe the club are right and Firpo will be more confident in his second season and with a full summer to prepare, although the injury has clearly interrupted his preason.
And perhaps the fact that Jesse Marsch has had a complete offseason to change the set up of the team will also help, but it certainly feels like an unnecessary risk to go with just the 25-year-old as a specialist and Striujk to back him up.
For all the good business that has been done this summer in replacing Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha, at least on paper, it looks like a blind spot at left-back.
One injury can upset everything, and the fact that they’ve already had it and have had to come into the Premier League season with a makeshift option makes it all the more surprising that they haven’t done something since mid-July when it became clear how long Firpo would be out.
Clearly the long-term injury to Stuart Dallas has made the situation more pressing but they have known about that all summer.
Fans will have to hope that there is still a late unveiling or that the current options can hold it together all year, but right now it doesn’t look hugely promising.