Andrea Radrizzani's first words on new Leeds signing Junior Firpo
Leeds United announced the signing of Junior Firpo from Barcelona on Tuesday, as the club moved to solve their left-back woes. Taking advantage of Barcelona’s financial difficulty, Firpo is believed to have cost less than £15million. Andrea Radrizzani told Live Now he is delighted with Firpo – and predicted that Marcelo Bielsa will “transform” his career.
Firpo, 24, joins Leeds after two tricky years at the Nou Camp. Joining Barcelona from Real Betis, the Dominican Republic left-back only played 41 times in two seasons. It has convinced him with a move away from Barcelona, and Leeds have beaten AC Milan to landing his signature.
A deal was confirmed on Tuesday, as Firpo signs a four-year deal. He takes the number 3 shirt which has been vacated by Barry Douglas – a player that is believed to be close to joining former side Lech Poznan. Speaking on Live Now after Firpo had signed, Radrizzani gave his verdict.
“Thank you for coming to our club,” Radrizzani told Firpo. “I’m very pleased to see that your English is better than Victor’s [Orta]. You won’t have any problems in the city or with the team. Everyone will welcome you, and good luck for the season. I had been expecting news.
“Then over the weekend, I heard he liked our proposal. We’re very happy. We have put another element to continue to grow our club. For Junior, it is a fantastic opportunity to play under Marcelo Bielsa – he is a fantastic coach but not just that, he will transform your career, I am sure of it.”
Firpo finally solves Leeds left-back issue, amid Radrizzani comments
Leeds thought they had solved it when they completed the signing of Douglas in the summer of 2018 – Bielsa’s first summer. But injuries and a lack of momentum eventually saw him manage to play just 44 times in two seasons, and then sent on loan to Blackburn last season.
Gjanni Alioski and Stuart Dallas shared responsibility on the left side of defence during 2020-21 – but it is not a long-term solution. That is, especially because Alioski has now left the club. Firpo finally ends the search for a long-term left-back solution, and is likely to be first choice in 20-21.