“Need To Strengthen” – Club Legend Identifies Leeds United Weakness

Former Leeds United defender Ian Harte believes that the Whites will need to strengthen at left-back should they achieve promotion to the Premier League.

The Yorkshire outfit have been in superb form since the turn of the year, winning 12 of their 13 Championship fixtures. As a result, they have been able to close the gap on Leicester City and now sit top of the table on goal difference. However, the Foxes do have a game in hand.

It’s been a remarkable turnaround for Daniel Farke’s team. They initially struggled to adjust to life in the second tier as uncertainty surrounding a host of first team stars continued during the summer transfer window. Their luck began to change following its closure though and they soon shot up the table.

With Leicester and Ipswich Town surging ahead in the race for Premier League football in the first half of the campaign, Leeds have had to be patient. Although they now head the pack, the Tractor Boys remain well in the hunt and sit just one point further back in third.

Farke has been heavily praised for how he has changed the club’s fortunes this season, a view echoed by club legend Harte. Speaking to FreeBetsthe 46-year-old said:

“It’s been remarkable since Daniel Farke’s come in. The work rate, the energy that they show on the pitch.

“I think the recruitment has been very clever as well. Connor Roberts that they brought in in the January transfer window, Joe Rodon at centre half. I think he’s had a fantastic season.

“Obviously Daniel Farke (has) a proven track record in the Championship, getting promoted (with Norwich City). Now they are top of the table. It’s quite remarkable what has happened.”

Despite their unblemished recent form, Harte believes that the manager will need to address one key area should they return to the top tier. The ex-Republic of Ireland international rose to prominence at left-back and believes that his former position is one that could need upgrading.

Junior Firpo is the man currently tasked with the job, nailing down the spot after recovering from injury earlier this season. He has since made 22 appearances in all competitions, although he was linked with a move back to Spain before the winter transfer window:

“I wasn’t a big fan of Junior (Firpo) when he initially came in,” Harte continued. “This season he has had a few injury problems.

“He’s got into the team, he’s done quite well but I think it’s a key position that if Leeds do get promoted, that is a position that they will need to strengthen.”

Since arriving from Barcelona in 2021, the 27-year-old has featured 73 times in all competitions and is under contract until 2025.

Writer’s View

Firpo was a player who struggled in the Premier League with Leeds and he was widely criticised for his performances. However, the drop to the Championship has seen him revitalise his career at Elland Road and few would argue that his recent outings have been impressive.

Much of that can be attributed to Daniel Farke, who has managed to get the best out of the former Real Betis star. It remains to be seen as to whether he will retain that position should the Whites return to the top tier as expected. They may decide that it is the right time to cash in, when the defender will have just one year remaining on his existing deal.

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