Why Diego Llorente is proving Leeds United's long-term Premier League belief right

Diego Llorente has arguably been one of the best signings that Victor Orta has made during his time at Leeds United.

By Tom Morley
Sunday, 30th January 2022, 6:00 am

The Spanish international has been a standout performer during his time under Marcelo Bielsa, known for his ball playing style and his ability to step in at the right times.

He originally came through the ranks at Real Madrid, and that is clear to see in his playing style.

But his time at Leeds has been marred by injury, not making his debut until December 2020 away to Chelsea in a 3-1 defeat, three months after he signed.

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Leeds United defender Diego Llorente. Pic: Getty

He picked up an injury then too and he returned to the side away at Newcastle in January 2021, but was forced off after 10 minutes with another injury.

But, when in the side, Llorente has rarely put a foot wrong.

He’s composed, he’s good in the air and he is the defensive player Leeds need.

This season, Leeds have looked vulnerable, especially down the flanks, with injuries plaguing the full-back positions, but in the games Llorente has played, he has looked good.

At 28, the Spaniard is someone you expect to be around at Leeds for a while, he knows the game well, and has helped the development of younger defenders around him such as Struijk and Leo Hjelde.

He’s undoubtedly the best Centre Back at the club, the most reliable, and it’s evident with his performances in a Leeds shirt, his best coming in a 0-0 draw against Chelsea last season.

Keeping an explosive Chelsea attack containing the likes of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz quite comfortably on a day where Leeds stood up against the European champions.

His price of £18 million according to Transfermarkt looks to be a bargain, especially given how much centre-halves go for in today’s market, a shrewd bit of business for Leeds and a player who looks like he will be here for a while.