Following a turbulent summer at Elland Road, Leeds United manager Daniel Farke is expected to utilize the current pause in action caused by the dreaded international break to assess his team.

There was no doubt an expectation that the club would struggle to retain its star assets, especially those with relegations clauses built into their contracts, after a disastrous 2022–23 season that saw the Yorkshire giants slip back into the Championship just three years after securing promotion.

With 15 players moving on to other teams in order to continue competing in Europe’s top divisions, the Whites may not have anticipated quite such a sizable mass exodus after that return to the second tier.

There were few others who did not get their wishes granted with Farke now in charge of an almost entirely refreshed and refurbished team, despite managing to hang onto Italy international Wilfried Gnonto – even after the teenager put in a transfer request amid interest from Everton.

The unimpressive left-back Junior Firpo was among those who were unable to find a new home, despite struggling to produce in recent seasons. This is not to imply that every undesired asset was moved on during the most recent window.

The former Barcelona player, as seen by his struggles on the pitch and heavy financial burden, has essentially raked Leeds since his arrival in the summer of 2021.

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What was Leeds’ purchase price for Junior Firpo?
The defender had previously shone during his prior stint at Real Betis, where he scored five goals and registered seven assists in just 43 appearances. At the time, it may have seemed like a bit of a coup for Marcelo Bielsa and company to have acquired the defender from Camp Nou.

After Ezgjan Alioski left on a free transfer, it was necessary to find a long-term replacement on the left side of the defense. The attacking full-back was signed for a comparatively low sum of £12.8 million.

There was obviously a pressing need for left-back reinforcement, since Stuart Dallas had also been somewhat of a makeshift option in that position throughout the 2020–21 season, with Bielsa’s team hoping to improve upon a strong ninth-place result after their return from the Championship.

However, given his struggles in previous seasons, Leeds may wish they had spent their money elsewhere rather than on the former Dominican Republic international, who was labeled a “defensive liability” by journalist Juan Arango in Catalonia.

Firpo makes how much money for Leeds?
The 6-foot-tall loser has recently suffered a number of unlucky physical setbacks, but he hasn’t exactly helped himself on the field either, with writer Dean Jones claiming earlier this year that he “had some difficulties in the Premier League.”

The defender’s performances while playing for Elland Road have also drawn specific criticism from pundit John Newsome. The former Leeds player stated back in December:

“They invested a lot of money in Firpo and signed him. He is not even close to being good enough, in my opinion.

Firpo has played 52 games and has only contributed two goals and four assists. Defensively, he has also proven to be rather expensive, most notably by giving up a penalty at the end of last season in the 2-2 draw with Newcastle United after a “idiotic” handball, according to 90 Minutes’ Graeme Bailey.

It’s difficult to justify paying the former Barcelona player a relatively large £60k per week salary when he can’t even maintain his level of fitness for long enough to have an influence on the field. Such distractions seem to be a regular occurrence for the former Barca player lately.

How much did Leeds pay for Firpo?
The forgotten man has cost the club somewhere in the neighborhood of £19m over the previous two years, which is likely to be seen as money wasted by both the club and supporters. His initial £12.8m transfer fee and his £60k-per-week pay, which together have totaled around £6.2m to date, are to be considered.

The 27-year-old presently contributes for 11% of the overall salary cost due to his position as the third-highest earning among his teammates, according to Capology, thus the goal will likely be to remove him off the books as soon as possible:

Leeds United’s top ten highest earners Wage
Georginio Rutter £70k-per-week
Patrick Bamford £70k-per-week
Junior Firpo £65k-per-week
Daniel James £50k-per-week
Pascal Struijk £50k-per-week
Stuart Dallas £45k-per-week
Helder Costa £32.5k-per-week
Illan Meslier £30k-per-week
Luke Ayling £25k-per-week
Liam Cooper £25k-per-week

The stream of players who were moved on to new teams this summer has partially altered that, but it still serves as another illustration of how poorly Firpo has been managing the Elland Road team lately. The sooner Firpo walks on, the better.

When does Junior Firpo’s employment agreement end?
Not only is the transfer season already closed, but Firpo still has two years left on his current contract with the club, so it will be challenging for Farke and company to try to move him in the near future.

The Santo Domingo-born prodigy was expected to leave this summer, joining players like Rodrigo, Jack Harrison, and Brenden Aaronson, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano, albeit no such departure has yet taken place.

The player’s present injury problems were probably a factor in his inability to find a transfer; according to recent sources, he is still expected to miss two months of action despite having yet to participate this season.

Firpo has expressed a desire to contribute to the team once he is well and active. However, with players like Sam Byram and Leo Hjelde already at Farke’s disposal, a January sale should be the Leeds management’s top priority.

It’s reasonable to say that the club has had enough rinsing before the arrival in 2021.

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