Why West Ham should not miss out on the chance to sign Junior Firpo in January
According to Mundo Deportivo (h/t Brighton and Hove Independent), West Ham have made an approach to sign Junior Firpo. It has been said that the player has been a long-term target of the Hammers and have shown interest in him for quite a while.
Junior Firpo spent his youth career at Atletico Benamiel, CD Tiro Pichon and CD Puerto Malagueno, before joining the Real Betis U-19 setup in 2014. A year later, he was promoted to the La Liga side’s B team. He spent close to three years before breaking into the first-team in February 2018.
Firpo grew from strength to strength from thereon, becoming the first-choice left-back at Real Betis. In his first full season with the senior team in 2018/19, the 23-year-old impressed heavily, scoring 3 goals and setting up 5 more in 29 matches in all competitions.
Following his breakthrough campaign, Barcelona snapped him up last summer. However, things haven’t gone according to plan for the Spaniard at Camp Nou. He has had to play second-fiddle to Jordi Alba for most of the campaign, which has restricted him to just 17 La Liga appearances.
This season, he has been afforded very less game time of just 198 minutes in the Champions League, and one game in the league. Firpo played his youth football for Spain but chose to play for the Dominican Republic in senior level.
Firpo would represent an upgrade on Arthur Masuaku
West Ham have had a change of fortunes ever since David Moyes changed the formation to a back-three. That has allowed Aaron Cresswell to slot in as a third centre-back. Vladimir Coufal and Arthur Masuaku have taken up the wing-back positions. This has allowed Masuaku to play more freely in the attack.
However, with Firpo being available, West Ham shouldn’t refrain from going for Firpo. He is a natural wing-back who flourished at Real Betis when he was played in that position. His attacking prowess can be a huge asset for Moyes as he would not only provide depth for the side but also competition to Masuaku.
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An earlier report from Daily Mail suggested that Barcelona are willing to put the player for sale to recoup some funds. West Ham would be unwise to pass up this opportunity to strengthen the side further with a promising player like Firpo.