Diego Llorente reveals his Leeds United aim after Spanish call

DIEGO Llorente has expressed his pride at his latest call up to the Spanish national team and outlined his Leeds United aims.

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 4:45 pm

Llorente excelled for Spain when facing Cristiano Ronaldo in a goalless draw against Portugal during the October international break but the defender then endured a series of injuries that disrupted his progress.

Despite having joined Leeds for £18m from Real Sociedad at the end of September, Llorente only made his Whites debut in the 3-1 loss at Chelsea at the beginning of December when coming on as an early substitute for the injured Robin Koch.

The 27-year-old Spaniard then suffered a fresh setback which meant that Llorente was unable to experience his full Leeds debut until the end of January in a 2-1 triumph at Newcastle United.

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THRIVING: Leeds United's Spanish international centre-back Diego Llorente, right, battling Chelsea's Kai Havertz in Saturday's goalless draw against Chelsea at Elland Road. Photo by Lee Smith - Pool/Getty Images.

Llorente's rotten luck continued as the defender was forced off after ten minutes against the Magpies but now the Spaniard has played the full duration of United's last four games.

A call up to Luis Enrique's latest Spain squad for March's World Cup qualifiers has now followed - and a proud Llorente hopes his aims for club and country can now combine.

"It was great news," said Llorente, speaking to BBC Radio Leeds and asked how pleased and surprised he was with his call up.

"I think coming after that tough start that I had through injury at Leeds, now it's kind of recognition for my performances in those last few games since I have come back.

"I've felt in good my self and I think I have been performing at a decent standard so the fact I am helping Leeds and at the same time as getting recognition internationally, that's great as well."

Asked what his strengths were for Spain and why he thought Enrique valued him so highly, Llorente reasoned: "I think maybe my playing style, my sort of qualities as a player maybe fit into the style of football that he wants to implement with the Spanish team.

"I think it fits into that playing style defensively.

"Obviously I am aware of the fact that Spain are blessed with some excellent central defenders in my position.

"But it is something which I have accepted with great pride.

"It is a real honour and I am very happy to be called up. I think it's important.

"It's recognition of your hard work but at the same time my aim is to carry on bringing stuff to Leeds and helping Leeds out and if that leads to international recognition then great.

"The main objective is to work hard and provide my ability for Leeds."

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Thank you Laura Collins