Diego Llorente finally made his return to the pitch today for Leeds United after getting injured following his debut for the first team against Chelsea.
And what a return.
He put in a hugely impressive performance, capped by the only goal of the game so far, and he almost got two after narrowly missing with a shot from 40 yards out.
It’s been easy to forget how good Llorente can be for Leeds.
He’s a Spain international but has had such a slow start to his Leeds career that we’re almost resigned to him not being available.
However, he was excellent today, composed in defence, with a number of crucial interceptions – and, as a bonus, he looked really dangerous going forward.
His shot from distance turned heads before he got on the end of a Kalvin Phillips cross to head his side ahead.
We can’t wait to see him against Newcastle and we think that he and Liam Cooper playing together will make a big difference to our defensive record.
Llorente made the bench for the defeat against Brighton on Saturday but Marcelo Bielsa had always said he wanted him to play in the Under-23s before starting for the first team.
It means that he should be in with a really good shout of making his full debut against Newcastle a week on Tuesday after getting through his allotted 45 minutes of action today.
Here are some of the excited reactions to Llorente’s display today…
Anyone watching u23s? Llorente's amazing
— Herb 💙💛 (@herbthefox) January 18, 2021
Llorente impressive so far. I'm well aware it's an u23's fixture but his reading of the game and ability to intercept high up the pitch are brilliant.
His shot from 40 yards wasn't typical of a centre half either. #LUFC
— J (@BalticBulldog) January 18, 2021
Really promising stuff from Llorente (granted it’s only the U23s) but his passing has been spot on. His best attribute is how aggressive he is against the centre forward, always stepping in front of his man #LUFC
— Lewis Cawood (@cawood7l) January 18, 2021
— David Walker (@Psych_DW) January 18, 2021
Llorente is looking brilliant for the U23s #lufc
— LUFCHudson (@B_Huds0n) January 18, 2021
— Diddlysquat. (@rikko71) January 18, 2021
— MikeW (@mikewhorley) January 18, 2021
Llorente looks quality once he’s fully match fit he’ll be such a plus to the first team. ALAW
— Steve Ricketts (@SteveRicketts60) January 18, 2021
Llorente got to start against Newcastle! Luke back to RB 🥰
— Mark (tomo)Thompson (@Nickfaldo92) January 18, 2021
Not sure why I'm surprised that Spain international Diego Llorente is absolutely miles above U23s level, but here we are. Looks absolutely fantastic with the ball at his feet, almost scored a screamer before this. #lufc https://t.co/dWrmnqTdlT
— Total Leedsball 🏆 (@TotalLeedsball) January 18, 2021
I don’t wanna get ahead of myself but Llorente looks better than Maldini. #LUFC
— We all love Leeds (@LondonLUFC) January 18, 2021
Llórente from 30 yds …… wow, close!
— Backing Bielsa 💛💙 (@ChrisWhyborn) January 18, 2021
Llorente doing headers start him next week at Newcastle 😂
— Armo☀️🌙 🏆 (@Jordan_Armo) January 18, 2021
In other Leeds United news, Leeds have huge PL problem – Potter noticed it & Bielsa can do nothing about it