MOT View: Leeds fans should be very worried as £18m man moves to long-term injured list
Leeds United have had some bad luck in the past signing players who have gone on to struggle from injuries and fitness.
Izzy Brown and Jean-Kevin Augustin are two of the best (worst?) examples.
Now, Leeds fans will be hoping that Diego Llorente isn’t set to become another high-profile name to end up on that list.
Llorente signed in the summer for £18m from Real Sociedad and the Spanish international centre-back was seen as a key part of strengthening Bielsa’s squad.
He made the bench for the 1-1 draw against Man City but hasn’t been seen since.
That’s been a problem for Leeds, who lost Liam Cooper and Kalvin Phillips to injury in recent games.
With Cooper out, Llorente would have stepped up for his debut. With Phillips out and Cooper back, Llorente would have enabled Robin Koch to step up and play the holding midfield role.
With Pascal Struijk and Jamie Shackleton playing, Leeds have lost two successive games 4-1.
Leeds fans who were hoping that Llorente would be fit after the international break should be worried by the latest update from The Athletic.
In a round-up of the latest Premier League injuries during international break, Llorente has been red-flagged, along with long-term injured Gaetano Berardi and Adam Forshaw.
According to The Athletic, it means that Llorente is out for “30+ days or until further notice”.
We were delighted when Leeds signed both Koch and Llorente this summer.
The centre of defence had always been a concern at Leeds, especially with the team’s reliance on Kalvin Phillips.
Ben White had to step up last season with no like-for-like replacement in the squad.
Without Llorente, we’re back to square one and a squad that was looking rounded and with real depth is now looking light at the back again.
There are no such problems in attack, with Raphinha and Ian Poveda both straining at their leashes on the bench.
Leeds had expected Llorente back for the game against Leicester. He’s now missed that and the Palace game and the latest outlook doesn’t look good.
We can only hope that Llorente’s situation isn’t as bad as it seems.
In other Leeds United news, ‘Iniesta would be proud’, ‘Masterclass’ – These fans thrilled by display from Leeds loanee