Former England striker Kevin Phillips has hailed Diego Llorente as Leeds United’s ‘lynchpin’ moving forward.
The Whites snapped up the Spaniard for £18m from Real Sociedad last September, with big things expected of him from the off. Llorente has taken time to settle, however, with injury problems making his early months at Elland Road a struggle.
As time has passed, the 27-year-old has begun to make his mark, enjoying eight Premier League starts, including an impressive showing in the memorable 2-1 win away to Manchester City earlier this month.
Phillips heaps praise on Llorente
“Llorente is a top-quality player. It is as simple as that. It is just about getting him regular game time. He seems to have got himself fit and now he is finding that consistency.
“Marcelo Bielsa knows a good player when he sees one. Yes, it has taken Llorente a while to settle but now he is putting in good performances consistently and he is the lynchpin for them at the back.
“When you look at that team, they are tough to play against. He is definitely a big part of that now.
“I am not surprised to hear Bielsa is going to build his team around him because you cannot keep quality down. When you get enough minutes, like he is doing now, the consistency comes with it.”
Transfer Tavern take
Llorente is fully deserving of the praise coming his way at the moment, going to show that patience is often required with new signings. As per WhoScored, he has the fourth-best tackling average, fifth-best interceptions average and joint-second best clearances average per game among Bielsa’s squad, consistently proving his worth to the team.
Settling at a new club is rarely easy, especially with fitness issues holding a player back, but the Leeds defender is now looking every bit a seven-cap Spain international.
While the likes of Liam Cooper, Robin Koch and Pascal Struijk are also strong options for Marcelo Bielsa, Llorente should be a guaranteed regular for the rest of this season and beyond.
In other news, a pundit has claimed that one Leeds player will be ‘disappointed’ at the moment. Find out who it is here.
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