Diego Llorente lifts lid on his physical improvement as Leeds United defender outlines second season aim with Whites

Leeds United's Diego Llorente hopes there is a positive to be gleaned from last season's injury troubles - in making him a different proposition for his second term at Elland Road.

By Lee Sobot
Thursday, 14th October 2021, 4:29 pm

Leeds shelled out £18m to sign Spanish international defender Llorente from Real Sociedad last September but the centre-back's progress was held back by a series of injuries in his first season at Elland Road.

The 28-year-old was restricted to making 15 Premier League outings but ended the campaign with 13 consecutive starts before missing the season finale and says he is now better equipped for his second season with the Whites.

“I think in a physical point of view, I am better than the last season because I know my body better," said Llorente, speaking to BBC Radio Leeds.

PHYSICALLY IMPROVED: Leeds United's Spanish international centre-back Diego Llorente celebrates his winning goal in last month's 1-0 victory at home to Watford. Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images.

“I learned a lot from these injuries last season.

"I know when I can push a little bit and when it is maybe better to stop and rest a little to stay fit for the next match.

"I learned a lot from last season and my principal goal is to stay fit and help the team in more games.”

Reflecting on being in England for just over a year and how his family were getting on in the country, Llorente said: "This year is much better because last season was difficult at the beginning.

"It was all closed (in lockdown) and it was difficult.

"But this year it is easier, everything is open, you can walk in the afternoon it is easier and I prefer it like that.

"My family are good. For my family it was also difficult at the beginning because it's a new country and all is new.

"They had to adapt. But this year is much better and they are happy.

"At home my daughter is two years and says some words and some phrases and English.

"It's 50 (per cent) Spanish and 50 (per cent) in English! It's good for her."

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Thank you Laura Collins