After a hugely disappointing 18 months, there is no question that Junior Firpo has absolutely been one of Leeds United’s best players in recent weeks.

Firpo had to be patient this season. He sustained an injury in pre-season. And he then had to watch as Pascal Struijk did a reasonable job at left-back in the opening months of the campaign.

Junior Firpo
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But as Struijk’s limitations – in an unfamiliar position – started to get exposed, Firpo started to get more of an opportunity again. And he came in for only his second league start of the season against Manchester United at Elland Road.

Ultimately, that proved to be Firpo’s best performance in a Leeds shirt. And he has actually kicked on since then, proving to be the hero against Southampton.

Firpo deserves huge credit for battling back. He has been written off by so many. But he has been superb for a while now.

However, Leeds have arguably been guilty in the past of being almost too loyal to some players. Of course, that has stemmed from so many stepping their games up under Marcelo Bielsa, reaching levels that no-one could have envisaged.

Junior Firpo
Photo by Pat Scaasi/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A lot of those players became fan favourites, perhaps even club legends. And with that, replacing them is about a lot more than simply finding a better player.

And it probably also has an impact on how we feel when someone proves a lot of us wrong, just as Firpo has.

That is not to say that everyone has completely changed their mind on the 26-year-old. But given the amount of criticism he has got since his £13 million move, it is only fair to say that he has been superb lately.

What Leeds must absolutely not do is get complacent when it comes to Firpo. At some stage, his form will dip again. We’re in a relegation battle. We cannot expect him to not struggle at some point.

How he responds to that is crucial. But it is encouraging to see Leeds linked with a new left-back this week.

Reports from 90min claimed that Leeds are amongst the sides keen on Bournemouth full-back Jordan Zemura.

It is West Ham leading the charge for his signature. So it may not be Zemura who ends up at Elland Road.

But it does make a lot of sense for Leeds to look at another left-back.

Ideally, Firpo’s recent form will be a sign of what is to come. But he needs to be properly challenged too. One decent left-back is simply not enough.

It is also not fair on Firpo to only have him in that role either.

If Leeds stay up and Firpo stays, then the board cannot simply stick with what they have. We cannot go through another campaign wondering why we have not addressed the problems at left-back which have lingered since Charlie Taylor’s departure.

Zemura may not be the man we end up signing. But it is definitely good to see Leeds linked with another left-back heading into the summer.

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