Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Leeds United Summer Signing Very Close To Making His Debut: Big Boost For The Whites?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

Mundo Deportivo has recently reported that Leeds United‘s summer signing Diego Llorente is ‘very close’ to making his debut for the club after recovering from an adductor injury recently. It is understood that the Spanish centre-back is now ‘training normally’ and is set to be available for selection at Elland Road soon (via Mundo Deportivo).

Llorente’s Impressive Season At The Anoeta Stadium Last Season

Llorente is still waiting to make his first appearance for the Whites since sealing a move from Real Sociedad last summer. Hence, this development about his return to training will be a welcome bit of news for anyone associated with the West Yorkshire club ahead of what looks set to a busy month of football in the Premier League.

The 27-year-old took part in 30 matches for Sociedad in the previous campaign, netting one goal and earning two assists in all competitions. More importantly, Llorente was a rock at the back for the Spanish outfit based on his average of 1.0 tackles, 1.0 interceptions and 3.2 clearances per game in La Liga last season. He was even very tidy with his ball-distribution after he completed 87.3% of his attempted passes in the Spanish first division (stats via whoscored).

Llorente is highly versatile as he can play in multiple positions on the defensive end of the field. He is primarily a centre-half but is capable of filling in at right-back or operate as a defensive midfielder if required. Hence, he could prove to be a valuable member of Marcelo Bielsa’s match-day squad during the busy Christmas period when the fixtures come thick and fast in English football.

Leeds United's Llorente very close to making his debut (Llorente is seen in the picture)
Diego Llorente of Spain looks on during the warm-up before the kick-off of an international friendly match between Spain and Bosnia at the AFG Arena on May 29, 2016, in St Gallen, Switzerland. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

What Does The Spanish Defender Offer On The Pitch?

Standing at 1.86m, Llorente can use his towering presence and aggression to win his fair share of aerial duels inside his half. He can also time his tackles well and is capable of making some crucial interceptions for his side.

The Madrid-born talent is often quick to sense the danger and is not afraid to put his foot through the ball when in danger of being outnumbered by the opposition. His versatility, coupled with his defensive prowess, makes him a capable option for Bielsa to rely upon at Elland Road this season.

Llorente Set To Be Available Soon: Massive Boost For Bielsa?

Leeds United conceded 17 goals in their first eight league matches of this campaign. However, Bielsa deserves credit for putting a stop to his team’s defensive problems at the back recently as they have now kept back to back clean sheets versus Arsenal and Everton respectively.

Llorente’s return to training will be a huge boost for the Whites as they look to pick up some wins in the Premier League this month. There is no denying that the ex-La Liga defender is good enough to rival Liam Cooper and Robin Koch for a regular place in Bielsa’s starting XI. Therefore, the Leeds head coach will welcome his summer signing back with open arms when he is ready to make his debut later this month.

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