By David Woods

3rd Mar, 2021 | 10:40am

Dominic Matteo: Llorente needs to ditch the diving at Leeds

Former Leeds United star Dominic Matteo has slammed summer signing Diego Llorente for play-acting after a challenge from Ollie Watkins in the clash with Aston Villa last Saturday. 

Llorente rolled around theatrically after the challenge and it left Watkins angry. The Villa played tried to drag Llorente up from the ground causing the Leeds centre-back to jump up angrily.

The majority of Leeds fans weren’t happy with Llorente and Matteo said it’s not something he’d have ever done.

Writing in his column in the Yorkshire Evening Post, Matteo said, “What I didn’t like against Aston Villa was when Diego Llorente was diving about. You’re a centre-half, you can’t be doing that.

“That would drive me nuts, like Danny Mills when we played for Leeds. If I’d done something like that I’d be gutted if no one pulled me up.

“I think the players and the fans at Leeds would have let me know about it. I was shouting at the television and, hopefully, he can learn from that.

“There’s some quality there with Llorente. You can see he’s decent on the ball, he’s got good experience and he needs to play regularly now until the end of the season. We’ll see the best of him next season, I’m sure – if he gets that consistency game time.”

Progressive CB – looks ideal for Leeds

If Llorente used to do this at his former clubs, he’ll have been taken aback by the reaction from Leeds fans and pundits.

And we’re fairly sure that Marcelo Bielsa will have had a word since the game.

Leeds won the FIFA Fair Play Award under Bielsa and he’s a manager who holds the integrity of the game in very high regard.

Everyone’s allowed a mistake and Llorente was probably angry at an unnecessary challenge soon after he’s come back from injury.

On a more positive note, Llorente – who was a big-money £18m signing last summer – is starting to show real promise at the back, with some brilliant progressive passing in the game against Villa.

On a different day, he would have unpicked the resolute defence and we’re sure that he’s going to get a few goals and assists if he plays regularly.

He just needs to leave the theatrics in the dressing room.

In other Leeds United news, ‘Brilliant’ – Ian Wright delivers verdict as Leeds fans lash out at Premier League rivals