Leeds United versus Southampton has come too soon for defender Diego Llorente despite him recovering from a hamstring injury, according to Sky Sports.
Llorente, 27, has seen his debut season at Elland Road plagued by injuries with the Spain centre-back playing just twice in the Premier League since his arrival from Real Sociedad in September.
He was on the bench for the 1-0 defeat to Wolves on Friday after recovering from his latest setback and The Athletic’s Phil Hay had reported the defender was available to play against Southampton at Elland Road on Tuesday night.
However, Sky Sports now claims “Tuesday’s game comes too soon for his involvement”.
Big blow for vital clash
We were hoping that Llorente would be able to start against Southampton.
We’re yet to really see the Spain international in action with him only just earning 90 minutes across his two appearances in the Premier League against Chelsea in December and Newcastle last month.
Leeds’ defence has been a bit of a mess all season due to Liam Cooper and Robin Koch also getting injured. It’s meant that Pascal Struijk has had to step up and Luke Ayling has had to cover at centre-back at times.
Struijk and Ayling have both done well enough when called upon and while we’ve not seen much of Llorente, you would assume a Spain international with 138 La Liga appearances and a spell at Real Madrid would be a step up at centre-back.
Leeds welcome Southampton to Elland Road on Tuesday night knowing they can move into the top half of the Premier League table with a win, leapfrogging both Wolves and Arsenal.
However, Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side can overtake the Whites if they were to win in West Yorkshire.
Southampton haven’t won in seven Premier League matches going into their clash against Leeds.
Let’s hope that Llorente’s absence doesn’t hit the Whites too hard when it comes to dealing with Danny Ings and Che Adams.
In other Leeds United news, Gary Lineker was stunned by one moment in the defeat to Wolves.