Noel Whelan has lauded the performance of Diego Llorente as Leeds United beat Manchester City 2-1 away in the Premier League on Saturday.
Two goals from Stuart Dallas were enough to give Marcelo Bielsa’s team all three points at the Etihad Stadium as they earned them the hard way following a straight red card for their captain Liam Cooper and an equalising goal from Ferran Torres for Pep Guardiola’s men.
Should Llorente start for Leeds?
Nonetheless, Llorente needed to put in a very commanding performance at the back with his central defensive partner given his marching orders just before the half-time whistle, and the Spain international did just that, leaving former Elland Road striker Whelan in awe of him when speaking to Football Insider:
“He keeps getting better and better.
“For me, he’s my number-one choice at centre-half right now. He is showing all these skills, running out with the ball, defensively he’s getting a lot stronger, a lot tougher.
“He’s also a lot more aggressive and winning a lot of his duels.
“He’s the first on the team sheet for me. It’s all about whether it’s going to be Struijk or Liam Cooper next to him.”
Llorente deserves all praise for Leeds
Llorente deserves all the praise for his display as he was vital to Leeds securing victory over the Premier League leaders.
The 27-year-old topped the performance charts in terms of clearances made (six), shots blocked (five) and interceptions made (two, joint with Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha) at the Etihad, as per Sofascore, highlighting just how important he was to Bielsa’s side.
The centre-back is set to become even more crucial now in the next run of matches for Leeds given Cooper’s sending off and subsequent suspension.
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