Junior Firpo on Leeds United European dream, Marcelo Bielsa impact and Rodrigo's part in his move from Barcelona
Leeds United's new left-back Junior Firpo is dreaming of European nights with his name reverberating around Elland Road.
The defender, who completed a €15m move from Barcelona this morning and penned a four-year contract, already has 10 Champions League appearances on his CV from his time with the Spanish giants. He also tasted the Europa League with Real Betis and wants to help Leeds achieve the dream of owner Andrea Radrizzani by returning the Whites to a level they once knew so well.
"I don't want to be [too] passionate but I want to go to Europe," he told LUTV.
"I think everyone wants to play in Europe. I've played in the Champions League, the Europa League, but to go to Europe with this team would be amazing.
"A lot of people have said to me that a full Elland Road is incredible. I want to see. In my first club in Betis people say it is similar. I say to you that I want to see the full stadium singing Junior Firpo."
Firpo was a player of interest for several clubs around Europe this summer, with AC Milan particularly keen to secure his services, but the pull of the Premier League and the intensity of Leeds' desire to sign him held significant, ultimately decisive sway. The club's record signing Rodrigo played a part, too.
"I'm really happy, I wanted to be here," he said.
"I always wanted to play in the Premier League, which for me is the best league in the world. For me to be here in this club, a historic club with really, really good fans. I'm excited to play here. This summer for me many clubs were interested in me but when Victor spoke with me and showed me the project, I said wow it's interesting, they really want me to play, if I play well.
"In this moment I said okay, I want to go to Leeds.
"I spoke to Rodrigo, I think Diego [Llorente] is focusing with the national team now. Rodrigo told me to come here and play with us, it will be really nice."
Firpo got his first taste of Marcelo Bielsa's training regime at Thorp Arch today, in the first of three sessions before his first day as a Leeds player is done.
He believes he's well suited to Bielsaball and hopes the head coach will improve him.
"I saw him in Spain when he worked there, I know the coach he is," said the defender.
"For me he's a really good coach, he wants to press all the time, play one against one and it's my football, physical football. To run, to have the ball for me is not a problem. I think he will help take me to another level.
"In this team I think I can show the player that I am. For me I really hope I can show the people what I want to show. I've been in Barcelona for two years and not played many games. I've come here to show the club and the fans the footballer I am.
"I have adaptability. I think this team has my kind of play. I think this will be a really good season for me and for the club.
"I will give all. Any time that I play I will give my 100 per cent and have already seen a lot of messages. So I say Marching On Together."