An injury prevention expert has slammed Leeds United’s professionalism after Diego Llorente picked up a fitness issue in the defeat to Liverpool over the weekend.
The Lowdown: Llorente out injured again
Marcelo Bielsa’s side were beaten 3-0 by the Reds on Sunday afternoon as their disappointing start to the Premier League season continues.
To compound the result, Llorente hobbled off with a hamstring problem in the first half after being unable to continue, in what is the latest injury setback for the Spanish defender, who has now gone off injured three times in his last 17 Premier League appearances.
The Latest: Expert slams Whites
Speaking to Football Insider, an unnamed source who has worked with Premier League clubs in the past lambasted Leeds, claiming there are issues with the club’s conditioning of players. They said:
“That does not reflect well on Leeds or their staff. The job of the staff – the fitness, conditioning, sports science guys – is to get the players fit to play and keep them out there.
“There are some injuries you can’t legislate for, like the Harvey Elliott one today, but top athletes should not be breaking down with muscle injuries in the first half of matches.
“It means they are being overloaded in training, over-worked or not warming up and preparing properly. Something has gone wrong somewhere and Leeds will be embarrassed it has happened again to Llorente.
“Everyone will look from the outside and think he is ‘injury prone’ but it is more complex than that.
“Ultimately it is the manager’s decision on whether he thinks players are fit to play, and once they’re selected they should not be pulling hamstrings in the first half.”
The Verdict: Slightly harsh?
It is hard to be critical of Leeds’ professionalism when you look at the incredible fitness levels Bielsa has his players reaching.
Granted, it is a high level of intensity which could potentially increase the risk of injury, but it may simply be the case that Llorente is an injury-prone player. After all, he endured multiple absences during his time in La Liga as well.
The hope is that 28-year-old makes a speedy recovery given his importance to the team, but these injury problems are starting to become a worry and Bielsa may have doubts about the defender’s long-term worth if such fitness woes persist.
In other news, a journalist has named three Leeds players who could move on in January. Read more here.
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