Former Barca player says he’s falling ‘back in love’ with football at Leeds

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Leeds United secured the signing of former Barcelona left-back Junior Firpo at the start of July for £13.2 million

Many Whites fans were very happy to see a young defender with European experience making the move to Elland Road. The 24-year-old began his career at Real Betis before moving to the Catalan giants in 2019 after some impressive seasons in La Liga.

Two years later and Firpo’s game-time was halved with him spending much of the season on the sideline behind Jordi Alba and Oscar Mingueza. His most recent season only included three starts which lead to a goal and an assist by the defender.

Now, the Spaniard has moved to England in search of more time on the pitch. He opened up to DAZN Espana about his move to Leeds.

“I haven’t done a specific evaluation [of my time at Barcelona] but it’s clear that they haven’t been good years. It’s been a time of ups and downs – more downs than ups to put it like that,” said Firpo.

“But in the end, I’ve been at Barcelona for two years and not a lot of players can have that opportunity. It was an opportunity that maybe came a bit too soon.”

The left-back suffered a knock in training last week but is expected to be recovered in time for Leeds opening game of the season on Saturday.

Firpo will now be competing with Ezgjan Alioski, Stuart Dallas, and Jamie Shackleton for the full-back places.

He has already started well at his new club, bagging an assist in a pre-season friendly against former club Real Betis.

“I’ve been here two weeks and I’ve seen more videos of myself than I have in my two years at Barça – individual videos. But it’s good, they explain to you the way you have to play, what they want you to do in every possible situation, and in the end, they really look in detail.”

“Honestly, I want to fall back in love with football. I’m not going to say I’ve had bad years recently because you always come home to your family but with regards to football I’ve definitely not had the drive to play and enjoy it. In football I always look to enjoy myself,” added Firpo.

Leeds United’s first game of the season will be away to Manchester United at 12:30 on Saturday 14th August.

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