Leeds United team news - Marcelo Bielsa reveals why defender won't play against West Brom at Elland Road

Marcelo Bielsa says he won't risk Diego Llorente in Leeds United's final game of the season against West Brom.

Friday, 21st May 2021, 9:53 am
Updated Friday, 21st May 2021, 9:56 am
NOT RISKED - Diego Llorente will not play in Leeds United's final game of the season against West Brom at Elland Road. Pic: Getty

The centre-half came off at the interval on Tuesday night during Leeds' 2-0 win at Southampton after experiencing some discomfort, so he has played his last for the Whites before the summer.

"Llorente is not with us, throughout the first half against Southampton he felt something in his muscle that, had he continued, he could have got injured where he was injured previously," said Bielsa.

"That's why we decided he should not participate in the second half, nor on Sunday."

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Spanish national team defender Llorente joins Robin Koch and Mateusz Klich in taking early leave ahead of the Premier League season's conclusion. Both Koch and Klich have been selected for their international side for the European Championships, while Llorente hopes to earn a spot in Luis Enrique's Euros squad.

Bielsa insists that has not played a part in his decision making.

"Every decision I've taken, I take it thinking of the player and thinking of Leeds United, not thinking in other aspects," he said.

"I hope that it goes well in the national teams and I hope that as many players as possible from Leeds United participate with their nations. But these decisions for those three players they are not linked to the possibilities they have with their national team because I have no information about that.

"The decision of Koch or Klich I had no way of knowing what was going to happen with their national teams and the same in the case of Llorente. In no way did I want to risk Llorente having another muscular problem as he had a few throughout the season. Nor did I want to take the risk of a slight problem in his hip to get worse for Koch. I considered the amount of minutes Klich had played in the last three seasons and the effect the excess of competition produced in him, it made me think that once he had recovered his level he deserved a rest like the one I gave him."

Bielsa has already revealed that Kiko Casilla will play in the last game, having returned to the side for the visit to Southampton. The clash with West Brom will present a final opportunity for both Pablo Hernandez and Gaetano Berardi to play in front of Leeds fans. Both will leave the club this summer.