By Pranav Shahaney

8th Jul, 2021 | 10:07am

Tony Dorigo: Junior Firpo situation similar to Patrick Bamford's

New Leeds United signing Junior Firpo fits the club’s philosophy perfectly, claims Tony Dorigo.

Leeds’ need for signing a new left-back was amplified when Gjanni Alioski turned down the offer to extend at Elland Road.

Instead, he preferred to walk out on a free as he knew that he was likely to play second-fiddle next season.

Firpo was an exceptional talent at Real Betis, but his career didn’t quite take off at Barcelona.

However, still only 24, the Spain international has plenty left in his tank and Dorigo expects him to be a good signing for Leeds.

Speaking to Yorkshire Evening Post, the BT Sport pundit said, “When I started looking and watching and seeing where he has come from and his age and everything else, he kind of fits it perfectly.

“That’s a bit like Patrick Bamford. Patrick came to Leeds to be Leeds’ No 9, the manager has backed him and I think this is the same with Junior Firpo now.

“He goes forward fantastically well. He has got great balance and ability getting forward and such a turn of pace as well. I think that’s the big difference.”

Some player on our hands

Firpo, despite what some sceptics believe, is an exceptional signing for us. He may not be good enough to start for Barcelona, but we’re not at the same level as them and don’t mind taking a player who was seen as one of La Liga’s best young full-backs not too long ago.

Things at the Camp Nou have been tumultuous and Firpo hasn’t really had a fixed style of play to adapt to.

The brand of football played under Ernesto Valverde was in stark contrast to the Quique Setien style of play he was accustomed to before joining Barcelona.

At Leeds, he’s going to know from day one what’s expected from him. Marcelo Bielsa likes his full-backs to operate almost as auxiliary wingers and playing that position can make Firpo’s defensive frailties.

Bamford, who’s been labelled ‘exceptional‘ by Jurgen Klopp, was backed by the Argentine to thrive and that belief was what propelled him to become a first-team regular. He could treat Firpo the same way as he’s our only senior out-and-out left-back.

Bielsa has a penchant for improving players and if Firpo sets his mind on it, he can become an Elland Road mainstay for the foreseeable future.

In other Leeds United news, Jamie Carragher says what’s impossible for him while watching Kalvin Phillips play for England