Ian Poveda 'excited' over what Leeds United teammate has to offer after overcoming injury woes

The Whites winger has been talking about defender Diego Llorente.

By Joe Urquhart
Wednesday, 13th January 2021, 12:27 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th January 2021, 12:30 pm

Ian Poveda says the Leeds United squad are excited about what Diego Llorente can bring to the table this season.

The 27-year-old Spain international has endured a difficult start to life at Elland Road following a spate of injury issues since his summer transfer to LS11.

Llorente made the move from La Liga outfit Real Sociedad to Elland Road in September for a fee in the region of £18million.

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The centre-back, though, has been limited to just one appearance since his arrival, having picked up an injury while on international duty with his country in early October.

Llorente was eventually handed his Whites debut at Chelsea last month in difficult circumstances from the bench as Robin Koch suffered a knee injury.

The defender then himself then limped off late on having pulled up due to a muscle injury which left him sidelined once again.

Head coach Marcelo Bielsa confirmed last week that Llorente was nearing a second return to senior action, expecting him to be available for selection for this weekend's Premier League clash against Brighton & Hove Albion.

Leeds United defender Diego Llorente. Pic: Getty

United's defensive woes have eased in recent days, as club captain Liam Cooper returned in the FA Cup defeat at Crawley Town last weekend.

Koch remains out until March at the earliest, but Llorente will provide another boost for the Whites and he's being backed to show what he can do now he has a clean bill of health.

"Diego [Llorente] has been settling in quite well," Poveda told BBC Radio Leeds.

"He's been unlucky with injuries but you can't really predict that. He's a really good player. We're just excited about what he has to offer us.

"We trust in him and we know he has a lot to give us."

Asked about the strong team spirit that has been forged at Thorp Arch this season following promotion to the top flight, he said: "We don't have little groups [at Leeds]. Everyone gets along with everyone.

"All of us speaking in Spanish or English - everyone just gets along. It's been really important. It's what makes us a team.

"It's what actually gives us the ability to listen to the coaching staff and give our all in the games and perform how we have done.

"I feel like we have done really well so far in the Premier League and that's part of the core structure."