By Noel Whelan

13th Aug, 2021 | 3:00pm

Whelan 'massively excited' by Firpo news ahead of Leeds v Man United

Noel Whelan has admitted he is “massively excited” by the prospect of Junior Firpo starting for Leeds United against Manchester United on Saturday.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the Whites had been “craving” a natural wing-back like the 24-year-old.

Speaking at Thursday’s pre-match press conference (August 12th), Bielsa confirmed Firpo would be available for selection at Old Trafford.

The summer signing missed both the friendly away at Ajax and home to Villareal in recent weeks.

The Athletic’s Phil Hay reported his absence was due to a minor injury problem.

Whelan, who now works with the Leeds United foundation, suggested Firpo has all the attributes of a modern-day full-back.

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As such, he admitted he could not wait to see the new signing make his competitive debut.

Whelan told Football Insider deputy editor Russell Edge: “I’m massively excited. He’s a natural full-back on the left.

“He’s athletic, he loves to get forward, he’s aggressive, tenacious in the header.

“I think now he has had a bit of time to settle into the football club. Get that partnership and relationship going with Jack Harrison down that left hand side.

“I think that left-hand side is full of energy, full of tricks, full of speed. I’m really excited to see what they’re going to do at Old Trafford and how they’re going to trouble Manchester United going forward.

“We have been craving that natural left-sided wing-back. Now we have got it. He can do everything. He can get forward, he loves to score goals, got a great delivery.

“Most importantly, he can do box-to-box like Luke Ayling. He’s fitter than fit.”

Ezgjan Alioski and Stuart Dallas shared left-back duties for Leeds last season.

In other news, ex-manager claims Leeds United could produce next “Class of 92”.