Jesse Marsch has told Wednesday’s press conference – as per the club’s YouTube – that Junior Firpo will start on Thursday when Leeds travel to the King Power to take on Leicester City, with Pascal Struijk out through injury.
Struijk has been crucial to Leeds this season. Despite not naturally being a left-back, the defender has started all 10 Premier League games. But Marsch confirmed Struijk has picked up an injury and will not be available for Thursday.
Firpo, meanwhile, has been out injured after picking up an issue in pre-season. But he returned on Sunday, after remaining an unused substitute against Arsenal. Now, with Struijk out, Marsch confirms Firpo will start at Leicester.
The American gaffer raved about Firpo, claiming he is one of the best at the club in terms of technique and passing. He also says that there are not many left-backs in world football like the ex-Barcelona defender, in his mould.
“Junior will start. He will be ready. He has patiently waiting, and making sure he is fit and sharp and strong. I am excited for him to get his opportunity and to show he is ready. Ever since I’ve been here, he has tried to adapt to what I want.
“His technical and passing ability is one of the best in the team, his athleticism is a high end. A very intelligent player. Especially at left-back, there’s not many like him in the world. He can be a really big player here, no doubt.”
Marsch: Firpo will start when Leeds take on Leicester
Firpo has been criticised but he has little other option when it comes to who starts on Thursday. In terms of his praise for Firpo, it is a big statement to say he is one of the best players at the club technically. There are plenty of others.
The likes of Brenden Aaronson, Jack Harrison, Luis Sinisterra and plenty of others would suggest they deserve the title of the best technician at the club. Whether he can be a big player at Leeds, is still up for debate, 14 months on.