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Junior Firpo opens up on early struggles in England

Leeds United defender Junior Firpo says he underestimated the strength of the Premier League before he arrived in English football.

The 27-year old arrived at Elland Road in 2021; his first few games were filled with injuries and fitness issues. His poor performances also saw him in and out of the lineup even when he was available.

The former Barcelona player sat down with the Leeds United official podcast, and revealed that English football took him by surprise, and was much more difficult than he expected:

“The Premier League now is some league! There are some teams there!”

“It’s tough, it’s really high above any other league in the world.

“I didn’t expect it to be like that.

“I was playing in Spain and usually in Spain, there are no wingers.

“There are quality midfielders who play in the wings and they go inside and the full-backs take their space.

“The full-backs are usually not dribblers and not that explosive but when you come here, you play any team in the Premier League or the Championship, and they have two wingers who are really good dribblers and you just need to deal with it.”

However, after almost three years living in England, Firpo has adjusted to life here and says he sees himself at Leeds United long term:

“I never spoke after the market but this is the main reason why I stayed. I had a lot of offers but first of all, when you find a place that is home – this is what I found here in Leeds. Spanish players come from sunny lifestyle but I am a family guy.”

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