Leeds United look as if they have landed another high profile signing in the shape of Real Sociedad defender Diego Llorente.
The Spanish club made an official announcement on Tuesday evening stating that an agreement had been reached that will see the 27-year-old complete a switch to Elland Road imminently.
And from what MOT Leeds News have seen of the player, it looks as if the Whites have pulled off a major coup.
The five-cap Spain international registered a pass completion rate of 90% last term, as per Wyscout.
To contextualise that stat, Ben White’s pass completion rate last term was 88%.
Llorente also made more interceptions, lost the ball fewer times in his own half, and has an overall total action success rate too.
Defensively, Llorente is sound.
Above is his interception map from a La Liga clash against Osasuna last term.
The centre-back made 14 interceptions in that game, four more than White made in any given match last term.
The main thing to take away from this visual is the high concentration in his own penalty area.
When Llorente needs to be at his most alert – namely, in and around his own goalmouth – he steps up to the player brilliantly with a commanding display.
Llorente isn’t just a last gasp defender though.
A couple of weeks earlier, in a game against Real Valladolid, he made 18 ball recoveries, with nearly one third of them coming in the opposition’s half.
That willingness to take the game to the other team, and to nip danger in the bud, will definitely go over well with Marcelo Bielsa and his high intensity style of play.
Likewise, Llorente’s range of passing is likely to please his new boss.
Above is his forward pass map from a 2-2 draw against Barcelona last season.
91% of the defender’s forward passes were accurate in that game, but the most pleasing thing here is his ability to long if needed.
As we saw with Jack Harrison’s goal against Liverpool on the opening weekend, that capability to hit teams with a sudden piece of ranged distribution is a vital weapon in Leeds’ arsenal.
If Llorente can bring the kind of play we saw from him in Spain to the Premier League, we’ve got a feeling he’s going to fit in very well.
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