Former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan has laid into Diego Llorente, picking out one particular ‘terrible’ incident against West Ham.
The Whites were beaten 2-0 at the London Stadium on Monday evening, as their Premier League season threatens to peter out a little.
It’s now four defeats in the last five league outings for Marcelo Bielsa’s men, who are 11th in the table ahead of Saturday’s visit of Chelsea.
Llorente comes in for criticism from Whelan
Someone who had a bad night at the office against the Hammers was Llorente, with the centre-back at fault for Craig Dawson’s goal.
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Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan didn’t hold back in his criticism of Llorente, saying much more is needed from a player with so much experience:
“You are looking at a centre-half who is a Spanish international. You have to do your homework beforehand. I knew that Dawson was their most dangerous, aggressive player from set pieces. In the second-half Bielsa rectified that mistake because he made Liam Cooper mark him instead.
“When you look at Dawson’s goal, it’s terrible defending. It’s weak and too easy. You do not expect that from a Spanish centre-half.
“He gave Dawson so much room and freedom inside the penalty area. You cannot do that. It was a free header at the far post.
“We have been like this all season. Set pieces have once again been our achilles heel.”
Transfer Tavern take
In fairness to Llorente, his aforementioned fitness woes have made it difficult for him to settle at Elland Road, so Whelan’s judgment is slightly harsh.
The 27-year-old’s pedigree is undeniable, with six caps to his name for Spain, and he likely just needs a run in the team in order to find his feet.
He will though be forced to defend better when the Whites square off with a red-hot Chelsea side or things could turn ugly.
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