By Mark Smith

23rd Sep, 2020 | 3:10pm

MOT View: Formation change for Llorente would see Leeds sacrifice key playmaker

Leeds United are on the verge of signing Real Sociedad defender Diego Llorente this week.

The Spanish international should arrive at Elland Road before Sunday’s clash at Sheffield United, but most likely won’t be involved.

Nicolo Schira reported that the 27-year-old should complete his medical on Wednesday and sign a four-year deal to join the Whites.

Llorente solves the problem facing Marcelo Bielsa in that he had little-to-no cover at central defence for Liam Cooper and Robin Koch.

With the Whites spending nearly £20million on the Sociedad enforcer, suggestions are that he won’t be coming to sit on the bench in West Yorkshire.

That means that Bielsa may want to change to his famous 3-3-1-3 formation, something that would look a little like this.

The one problem with this change in formation? Pablo Hernandez would be sacrificed from the midfield in order to make space for Llorente at the back.

Mateusz Klich could drop out for Hernandez, but he would suit that solo free-roaming role much more efficiently due to the defensive side of his game.

Hernandez dropped out of the game against Fulham with a last-gasp injury, and was replaced by Rodrigo – neither impressing so far this season.

The 35-year-old struggled during his 62 minutes at Anfield in the Premier League opener against Liverpool, completing 38 passes at a poor success rate of only 63.2% according to WhoScored.

Compare that to Klich, who has been superb in the opening two games. The Polish international has scored twice and delivered one assist as he looks to be relishing the challenge of top-flight football.

With Hernandez potentially a doubt against Sheffield United, if Llorente was ready to feature – it could be the perfect opportunity to change the system, although we find it unlikely that will happen instantly.

In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay shares major update on Whites pursuit of this South American midfielder

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