Ian Wright provides Junior Firpo assessment and issues Premier League warning to Whites

Ian Wright has given his backing to Leeds United's summer signing Junior Firpo but issued a Whites warning about the brutality of the Premier League, especially when players are out injured.

Thursday, 7th October 2021, 11:43 am
Updated Thursday, 7th October 2021, 11:44 am

Leeds spent €15m to sign left back Firpo from Barcelona in the summer and the 25-year-old produced his best display yet for the Whites in Saturday's 1-0 win at home to Watford.

Firpo kept tabs on Watford's Premier League player of the month nominee Ismaila Sarr as Marcelo Bielsa's side finally bagged their first victory of the new season at the seventh time of asking.

The success took United out of the drop zone but Patrick Bamford, Luke Ayling, Robin Koch and Adam Forshaw remain out injured and former England striker Wright says Leeds will need their key players to return given the unrelenting nature of English football's top flight.

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BACKING: For new Leeds United recruit Junior Firpo, above, from Ian Wright. Photo by George Wood/Getty Images.

"With Leeds, I think we have to wait until they get their main injured players back," said Wright, speaking on the latest episode of the Wrighty's House podcast.

"I think Firpo looks half decent but it still feels like he is taking his time to settle in.

"I think we need to see Leeds get back but this is what happens in this league, it's so ruthless this league.

"If you lose a couple of players like that and you have got a certain way of playing with Leeds and it's integral to what you are doing and you lose them, it's not like anyone in this league is going to say 'okay, let's just wait and take it easy on Leeds', they are going to crush you, they are going to crush you into the ground.

"People know what they are coming with and all of a sudden you can see a 5-0 or a 6-1.

"When you are playing that intense, I remember with George Graham we used to have to work very hard as strikers and after a while, especially when you are playing against teams that just pass around you and you just feel like you are running around chasing, it's demoralising.

"I've watched Leeds and Leeds do the man to man.

"I remember when Man United hammered them at the start of the season, you saw Bruno Fernandez dragging someone in and then you see Ayling go with him and then you see Scott McTonminay blasting through into oceans of space though they didn't have Kalvin Phillips at the time.

"When you watch how Leeds were dragged about with players going with the player that the manager wants them to go with, you can't do that.

"They will just say 'I tell you what, you just run out there, he will go with you and that will just leave that space.'

"It's basic stuff and why do that?

"He (Bielsa) needs those players back."

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Thank you Laura Collins