Junior Firpo reveals preparation for his positional switch and outlines long-term Leeds United plan

Junior Firpo anticipates staying at Leeds United for a lot of years - but sees his long-term future in a different position.

By Lee Sobot
Friday, 14th January 2022, 5:18 pm

Leeds spent €15m to sign Firpo from Barcelona last summer as the club looked to replace the outgoing Gjanni Alioski who had eventually become United's first choice left back.

Firpo's first half of the season was disrupted by injury setbacks and coronavirus but the 25-year-old has started six of United's last eight games, the defender only absent for the Premier League hosting of Arsenal the week before Christmas due to suspension.

The Dominican Republic-born footballer says he has developed a good understanding with both Jack Harrison and Dan James down the left hand side of the pitch, Firpo looking to help supply the ammunition for the wingers from his full back position.

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LOVING LIFE: Leeds United left back Junior Firpo, pictured celebrating after November's victory against Crystal Palace at Elland Road. Photo by George Wood/Getty Images.

Firpo himself is recognised as a left back who enjoys getting forward, but eventually sees himself stepping into the heart of the defence.

"I can play centre back, I know I can," said Firpo, pressed on whether he would be comfortable playing in any other positions.

"Just now I am 25 and I know in four or five years I will play as a centre back for sure because football is changing and changing all the time.

"The left backs now are more wing backs than left backs and I am not this type of left back that makes dribbles and makes lots of runs.

"I am more with the ball and waiting for the right moment to appear so I know in the future I will be a centre back for sure so I am preparing myself."

Had Leeds suffered many more injuries, Firpo might have even found himself in the position for Sunday's Premier League clash at West Ham, Whites head coach Marcelo Bielsa having nine players on the treatment table for last weekend's third round FA Cup tie against the Irons.

Firpo once again lined up at left back but was forced off midway through the second half after feeling the effects of a collision with Whites 'keeper Illan Meslier towards the end of the first half, the left back suffering a blow to the head.

But Firpo says he is fit to return this weekend for what would be his 17th outing for the Whites.

The 17th of many he hopes, the former Spain under-21s international saying he and his young family have quickly settled into the area and envisaging a long stay with the Whites.

"The family is really good," said Firpo.

"Helpfully, my wife loves Leeds and my kids enjoy it too because they love all the big parks and all the places that we can visit.

"I think we live in a good city, we are really happy here and I think Leeds gave me the happiness again because in Barcelona it was a difficult time.

"We are really happy, we are enjoying our time a lot and we expect to be here for a lot of years and enjoying it with all the fans and all the people here. They deserve it."

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Thank you Laura Collins