Diego Llorente exclusive part 1 - Spain international reveals Leeds United homework findings and Elland Road 'yearning'
Diego Llorente is ‘yearning’ for the full Leeds United experience at Elland Road.
The Spanish international defender signed from Real Sociedad last summer and as a global pandemic continues to keep supporters out of stadiums, is yet to play in an atmosphere at LS11.
He’s yet to play much at all, injuries disrupting his debut season with the Premier League club and restricting him to four appearances, two of which came at an empty Elland Road.
The time he’s spent battling back from a series of niggles did allow him to do some homework on the club he joined in an £18m last September.
“One of the things I did when I was injured, because I wanted to really get to know the club from within, was watch the documentary on Amazon,” he said.
“Because I’ve not seen Elland Road full it gave me a real indication of that feeling of passion that exists, with the support here.”
Something else he picked up on is a phrase that encapsulates the Leeds existence, a classic, cheery Yorkshire understatement on the lowest lows and highest highs experienced by those associated with the 101-year-old club. It’s a phrase that could well tell the story of Llorente’s season, if he has indeed put his injury problems behind him.
“There’s one phrase that comes to mind that a few fans I’ve spoken to used,” said Llorente.
“They said ‘sometimes it’s not easy at Leeds but it’s always worth it in the end.’
“I get the impression that fans are willing to go through tough times, almost suffer a little bit if you like, with nerves and what have you, but in the end Leeds always come through.
“What the fans do recognise is that everyone at Leeds works hard and has that desire to give everything to try and win.”
All being well Llorente will get his taste of something more closely resembling a proper Leeds matchday when West Brom visit for the final game of the season and around 9,000 Whites attend thanks to the lifting of some Covid-19 restrictions. He’s already looking beyond that day, to a time when every seat in the house is taken.
“The one thing we can all agree on, the one thing we want is that this pandemic comes to an end and we can all see the stadium full again,” he said.
“I’m absolutely excited and I’m yearning for the day when we can actually experience that passion from the stands.”