Leeds United defender Diego Llorente has taken a little while to get fully up and running at Elland Road following his injury issues, but he’s finally a fixture in Marcelo Bielsa’s starting XI and doing well.
The 27-year-old joined Leeds in an £18million deal from Real Sociedad last summer, penning a four-year contract with the Premier League newcomers.
Llorente endured a tricky first half of the season at Elland Road, not making his Whites debut until December due to an injury picked up on international duty.
The Spaniard was then sidelined twice more, meaning he only featured twice in the Premier League prior to the Southampton game in February.
Since then, Llorente has played the full 90 minutes in each of Leeds’ league games, and on Monday night, he grabbed his first senior goal for his new club.
Aside from heading home a crucial 87th-minute equaliser for the Whites, he also delivered an overall impressive performance.
“Aggressive defending, some lovely passing and a goal to cap the performance,” wrote the Yorkshire Evening Post, who gave him 9 out of 10.
Admittedly, one of his headers back to Illan Meslier was poor and put Diogo Jota through on goal, and he seemed to go through the motions for a bit, but he improved as the second half went on.
🇪🇸 Diego Llorente vs Liverpool:
• 108 touches – most
• 85 of 91 passes completed – most
• 8 ball recoveries – most
• 4 tackles made – most
• 1 goal
— Joe Donnohue (@JoeDonnohue) April 19, 2021
All in all, Llorente is proving a shrewd signing and, at £18million, you could argue he’s a bargain considering how well he’s playing and how much better he’s getting with every game.
Although this season hasn’t been easy for him, he’s bound to play a huge role for Bielsa throughout the whole of next season.