Why Man City and Guardiola are doing the right thing by targeting Junior Firpo
According to reports in Sun Football, Premier League champions Manchester City are lining up a swoop for £54m-rated Real Betis left-back Junior Firpo. Manager Pep Guardiola has expressed a strong interest in bringing the 22-year-old Dominican following his impressive run of performances in the Spanish league.
Sun further states that Firpo has been scouted several times this year, and the player’s ability to play anywhere across the backline makes him a fantastic prospect for the Cityzens. His fantastic form at Betis lured the club to give him a lucrative five-year contract in August, with a release clause of £54m.
For Guardiola and City, they have Benjamin Mendy and Fabian Delph as options for the left-back position. Having Firpo will increase the competition, which will bring the best out of Mendy in more than few ways.
Here’s why the Spaniard and his club are doing the right thing by targeting this 22-year-old defender:
Player analysis – Junior Firpo
Main Position – Left-back
Current Club & Age – Real Betis & 22
Predominantly a left-back, Firpo’s height (184cm) enables him to slot in as a centre-back as well. The 22-year-old is a fantastic passer of the ball, with an accuracy of 83.7% last season. This could be one of the many reasons why Guardiola is interested in him.
His stature allows him to win aerial duels in both boxes, at an average of 1.4 per game. When we talk about a modern-day fullback, recovery runs are of the highest agenda, as it signifies a player’s talent at both ends of the pitch. Firpo’s tackling and interception rates of 1.9 and 1.4 per game respectively last year demonstrates his propensity as a defender.
The good thing about the 22-year-old is his secured feet on the ball. He hardly gets dispossessed, which is quite a good attribute for a left-back. He was robbed off the ball at an average of 0.4 per game, such a low number.
Guardiola is one of the best managers in the world right now. So we can get an idea of how good Firpo is when the Spaniard is keen on him. Genuinely, the 22-year-old is a bright talent for the future, and if he comes to the Premier League, he would set the stage alight.
Stats Courtesy – Whoscored.com (Firpo’s stats from 2017/18 season)