Diego Llorente got his first start for Leeds United last night but he didn’t last long before falling to a recurrence of his hamstring injury.
Llorente looked distraught on the pitch as he pointed to his hamstring and Pascal Struijk came on to replace him after just 10 minutes.
Talking after the game, Bielsa delivered an update on his injury and said, “It’s a problem for him, for all of us.”
As quoted by Leeds Live, Bielsa also said that he was worried for Llorente’s ‘state of mind’.
“He [Llorente] has a similar problem to the one he had before. It’s a problem for him, for us, for all of us.
“In this moment, what worries me is Diego’s state of mind, given the succession of injuries he has had. It’s natural that he’s sad because of this now and we share that sadness.”
Ongoing defensive issues
This was the first time that Leeds had lined up with two recognised centre-backs since the Chelsea game back at the start of December.
That’s where all of these problems started.
Robin Koch was ruled out until spring after that game and Llorente picked up a hamstring problem after being forced to play before Bielsa really wanted him to.
Fast forward almost two months and Llorente has suffered a recurrence of the hamstring issue.
Robin Koch is still recovering from knee surgery and Gaetano Berardi is a long way from the first team despite being ready to resume training next month.
We don’t think the Llorente injury will convince Leeds to sign someone and that means either Luke Ayling continuing to deputise or Pascal Struijk being used more.
Ayling is definitely better at right-back and Struijk put in a solid performance against Newcastle, getting a 7.4 rating from WhoScored, the highest of any of the Leeds backline.
We think it’s time for Struijk to get a run in the team.
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