There was a lot of hope and expectation when Diego Llorente arrived at Leeds United in the summer, but his injury problems have left him looking like a waste of money.
The Spain international has had rotten luck, with a recurrence of a hamstring issue forcing him off against Newcastle on Tuesday.
It was Llorente’s first start since his debut at Chelsea in December, but it seemingly came too soon, despite getting through 45 minutes for the under 23s the week before.
He also came through double murderball sessions, so the expectation was that he’d get through 90 minutes.
He didn’t even get through 10.
This latest setback is a worrying sign, with Bielsa admitting post-match, “It’s a problem for him, for all of us.”
The Argentine also showed concern for the defender’s state of mind, and we are worried he could struggle to make a full recovery this season.
Adam Forshaw faced similar injury troubles last season.
His return has been put back numerous times and he is still not fit enough to play.
Llorente still hasn’t completed 90 minutes and the way that Bielsa trains and plays, there has to be a worry about him long-term going forward.
The big problem for Leeds is that with Robin Koch out, Leeds don’t have a senior replacement.
Pascal Struijk did okay against Newcastle but we’re not convinced he’s ready for week-in, week-out action in the Premier League.
Llorente’s failure to get fit and stay fit is in direct contrast to Ben White, who we tried to sign on a permanent deal in the summer.
He didn’t miss a match last season and that’s what Leeds need.
We’ve not had two senior centre-backs play together since Chelsea and that now looks set to be the same for the next few weeks at least.
It’s a problem and one we may need to address in the summer. Ben White anyone?
In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay delivers Leeds-Alioski update after report he has agreed deal with Gala.