By Alan Hutton

24th Nov, 2022 | 2:12pm

Expert suggests real reason for Junior Firpo getting axed after what he's seen at Leeds United

Alan Hutton has claimed Junior Firpo’s move to Leeds United “just hasn’t worked” as Jesse Marsch’s side weigh up potential replacements.

The former Tottenham and Scotland defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, compared the 26-year-old to Spurs defender Emerson Royal – with the Premier League a “different animal” to Spanish football.

Firpo has played just 114 minutes of top-flight football for Leeds United this season.

The left-back was recovering from a knee injury at the start of the 2022-23 campaign but has been benched in favour of Pascal Struijk since his return to fitness.

Firpo made 27 appearances last term but was often exposed as Leeds United battled relegation, picking up 11 yellow cards.

According to 90min (14 November), the Elland Road club sent representatives to watch Borussia Dortmund and Portugal defender Raphael Guerriero, 28, in action earlier this month.

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Hutton told Football Insider: “He came, like Emerson Royal, from Spain with a big reputation.

“He looked like an attacking full-back with all the qualities to do really well, but the Premier League is just a different animal.

“The players he’s up against are strong, fit, aggressive, technically good – and you don’t see that often in Spain.

“He’s getting tested week-in, week-out – and he’s struggled.

“But it’s easy to forget that he’s come to a new country, everything’s different. All those things factor in.

“But on the football side, it just hasn’t worked.”

Firpo cost Leeds United almost £13million when he joined the club in July 2021.

The Whites sit 15th in the Premier League ahead of their return to action in late December.

In other news, expert claims Patrick Bamford has “six months to save his Leeds United career”.