By George Overhill

22nd Mar, 2023 | 1:40pm

Leeds United: Jose Mourinho not impressed by transfer mistake Diego Llorente on loan at Roma

Diego Llorente “did not convince” Jose Mourinho after his loan move from Leeds United to Roma in the January transfer window, says la Gazzetta dello Sport.

The Spanish defender was a surprise departure to Serie A at the end of the winter window, with the Whites in line to actually receive better the £18million they spent to sign him from Real Sociedad in 2020.

But he has so far made just three appearances for the Special One who clearly hasn’t been impressed by what he has seen, with 34 minutes of substitute action in the league, while he was withdrawn at the half with injury in his only start against his former side in the Europa League.

That has got the centre-back included in a run down of “transfer mistakes” in the pink Italian paper, and the presumed permanent move that seemed likely at the time the deal was done now seems in doubt.

No surprise

It always seemed like a strange transfer from Mourinho’s side, and for a manager who has such a reputation for being defensively sound it is hard to see what he saw in the Leeds United man to make him go for the move in the first place.

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Llorente has had some better games since he arrived at Elland Road but on the whole his transfer from Spain hasn’t been a success, and he has been emblematic of the defensive issues at the club over the past two relegation battles.

For a relatively hefty price at the time he must certainly be considered a disappointment, which was why it looked like such a bonus that the club had found a taker in January who was apparently willing to see them recoup the money.

It may yet happen if there is a surprise turn of events, but the permanent option was considered to be so easily-triggered that it was as good as an obligation and still it seems possible it won’t be met.

Less than 90 minutes of action in two months is not indicative of a player who the former Champions League winning manager is going to want to see a fair chunk of transfer budget spent on in the summer.

Unless the 29-year-old gets further opportunities and takes them before the end of the season it looks like this one will be a misstep from Mourinho and a disappointing missed opportunity for the Whites.

In other Leeds United news, one Elland Road player has made Jesse Marsch’s ideas look “incredibly ugly” with what he did recently.

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