Manager turned pundit Alex McLeish is gutted for Leeds United defender Diego Llorente, who is set to miss out on Euro 2020.
The Lowdown: Llorente initially selected over Sergio Ramos for Spain’s EURO 2020 squad
Following a fine first season back in the Premier League for Leeds United, the Spaniard was selected ahead of Real Madrid legend Sergio Ramos for Spain’s upcoming EURO 2020 Championship squad [Yorkshire Post].
An important squad player for the Whites, Llorente made a total of 15 appearances for the Elland Road side in 2020/21 and was scheduled to be a key player in the summer tournament [Transfermarkt].
However, these ambitions may need to be halted following this latest development.
The Latest: Leeds man tests positive
Reported on Wednesday afternoon, Llorente became the second Spanish player within their camp to test positive for Covid-19 after Sergio Busquets last week [Sky Sports].
Set to miss a portion of the tournament through mandatory isolation, McLeish was quick to offer his condolences to Llorente following the news, stating:
“To miss out on something like the European Championships, then it’s part of your life that is gone.
“Obviously he’s got time on his side and he can make it up.
“But that is a big, big blow for him. A big blow.” [Football Insider].
Fellow Leeds United teammate Rodrigo has received a late call-up to the squad, owing to the coronavirus outbreak [Leeds Live].
The Verdict: Hopefully Llorente can swiftly make a full recovery
Undoubtedly, it is hard not to share the disappointment the 62-year-old pundit feels for the ball-playing centre-back. On the verge of competing at the highest level, it is a shame he will not take part in his nation’s quest for tournament glory.
Making around 2.3 tackles on average per game this season, the 27-year-old would’ve added some solidity to the Spain rear-guard in their early tournament fixtures [WhoScored], and perhaps could have found some confidence and form to take into the next campaign in Yorkshire.
As for his manager Marcelo Bielsa, he will hope that the 6 foot 1 ace is able to bounce back in a fit and healthy state as the Whites look to hit the ground running in 2021/22.
In other news, a La Liga expert drops their verdict on a potential Whites target.
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