Leeds United defender Junior Firpo has revealed how former Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman told him he was ‘contaminating the group’ and needed to leave.

The full-back has been speaking to Sport in Spain regarding his time at the Camp Nou and how it unravelled under Koeman.

He joined Barcelona in 2019 after a successful period at Real Betis, joining the club as a back up to Jordi Alba and potential long-term replacement.

Unfortunately, he joined the club in one of their most turbulent periods and ended up paying the price for that, eventually being sold to Leeds in a €15m deal in 2021.

His two years at Barcelona are largely seen as a complete failure, with the defender unable to make his mark in either of them, largely forgotten as he dealt with off-field problems, namely his newborn son being born with lung problems.

His need to be with his family was something that manager Ronald Koeman and the club understood completely but that was where understanding with the Dutch coach ended according to Firpo, who has highlighted one particular comment which effectively caused him to give up.

“I think Koeman didn’t know me very well,” the Leeds man said.

“He was the first one who told me to stay, but that didn’t turn into reality later. I remember one time when Jordi Alba was injured, and he put Dest at left back.

“The minutes he gave me they were on the right… I had few. I had several games in which I played well, but I didn’t have continuity. Then, a month without playing. I didn’t understand that: at the worst moment, I take you out; if the game goes well or I can rotate, I don’t put you on.

“At first I was looking for explanations for this low participation, but Koeman gave me an answer in which he was not being honest: he told me that I was contaminating the group, so I stopped trying.”