Why Barcelona parting ways with Junior Firpo would be ideal for both parties
Hence, they have made players such as Junior Firpo available for sale. Meanwhile, Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte is keen on a left-back and has narrowed it down to Firpo, Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri.
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 in a deal worth £16.2m. 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 29 minutes in the Champions League, and none in the league. Firpo played his youth football for Spain but chose to play for the Dominican Republic in senior level.
Barcelona should offload Junior Firpo
When a player is not given game time despite another player in the same position performing rather badly, it is clear that he is not a part of the manager’s plans. Even with Jordi Alba dropping sub-par performances, Firpo has not been given a look in.
There are multiple factors for this too. First of all, Firpo is not an orthodox full-back who can play in a back-four which is usually used by Barca. He is a wing-back who is more used to playing with a back-three.
Secondly and perhaps a bit harshly, he is clearly not at the level to play for a club like Barcelona. Compared to the likes of Eric Abidal and prime Jordi Alba, Firpo looks out of depth in this side. He was a good prospect at Real Betis but Barcelona is a whole different ball game.
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With the club still using Alba at left-back and occasionally Sergino Dest, it explains as to why Firpo was among the five players listed on sale (source – Daily Mail). Offloading Firpo would be a logical decision at this point, with Inter Milan keen on the player. His age and potential would fetch some good money and that would help Barca.