Everton can look at Barcelona’s Junior Firpo as a short term alternative after Lucas Digne’s injury.
Everton received the worst injury update ahead of the Leeds United game that Lucas Digne, arguably the best signing of the Moshiri era, has suffered an ankle injury and will be out for 2-3 months. The news came just ahead of the hectic and tightly scheduled festive December. This is the worst time to lose Digne to injury and the Toffees could face some serious damage without the Frenchman.
Niels Nkounkou is Digne’s understudy whereas Fabian Delph is capable of slotting in at left back and doing a decent job. Surprisingly, Carlo Ancelotti started neither of the two against Leeds, going with Alex Iwobi in the left wing back role. Clearly, the Nigerian looked lost for the most part of the game and was not productive.
Delph’s injury record and fitness are always a worry as his recurring knocks often sideline him for a certain span of time. With such a jam packed December, expecting the former Manchester City star to feature every three days is a little too much to ask for.
Nkounkou has been brilliant, especially while going forward. We have seen shades of Digne in the young 19 year old when he drives forward from the left flank. However, he’s nowhere closed to a finished product and can easily be outthought by the opposition in some areas. Nkounkou, no doubt, is skilled but still a work in progress.
This brings Everton back to the drawing board. With the 27 year old left back missing at least two months of action, Marcel Brands may bring in a short term fix. A loan move cannot be ruled out. Obviously, a move would only be sanctioned once the January transfer window opens, meaning the Toffees will have to contend with a solution featuring Delph or Iwobi or Nkounkou for December.
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Everton can target Barcelona outcast Junior Firpo and enquire about a possible loan deal. A loan arrival will sort the left back problem for January and February, until Digne is completely fit and raring to go.
According to an earlier report from Mundo Deportivo, Barca are trying to work on an January exit for their left back Junior Firpo. Marca have also reported that Junior Firpo is among the four Blaugrana players that are likely to exit Camp Nou in January.
Barcelona would prefer a direct sale in order to generate funds but the Toffees have good transfer relations with the Catalan club and could reach a compromise for a temporary move. I agree Firpo isn’t the best choice but he can be one of the better stop gap solutions for the rising problem.
Back at Real Betis, Firpo was regularly a part of a 3-5-2 formation playing as a left wing back, meaning he is well versed with the position of a LWB. The Dominican has not been able to settle in at Barcelona and a change of scene could allow him to rejuvenate himself and replicate his Betis form, which paved the path to a Barcelona transfer.
Junior Firpo is a respectable short term fix but on the condition that he arrives on a loan deal and not a permanent transfer.