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Wolves: Diego Llorente bid rejected by Real Sociedad

Wolves: Diego Llorente bid rejected by Real Sociedad

Wolves have had an offer of £23million for Diego Llorente turned down by Real Sociedad, according to reports from Spain.

Mundo Deportivo reported that Wolves’ €25m (£23m) offer was rejected because the centre-back’s former club Real Madrid would receive a substantial amount of the transfer fee.

According to Mundo Deportivo [via HITC], Real Sociedad are demanding a fee of around £35m for the 25-year-old, who is happy at his current club and has not expressed any wish to leave.

Llorente is one of several centre-backs on Nuno Espirito Santo’s radar, with Wolves lodging a £30m bid for Juventus’ Daniel Rugani (according to The Times) and struggling to obtain a work permit for the prospective signing of Wallace from Lazio (according to Cittaceleste).

Llorente came up through Real Madrid’s youth system but made only three first team appearances at the Bernabeu and was loaned out to Rayo Vallecano and Malaga before joining Real Sociedad permanently in June 2017.

He enjoyed a very prolific first season at the Anoeta, scoring seven goals in 34 games (0.21 per game), but did not find the net in 23 appearances last term.

His profile on the official Real Sociedad website describes him as a player with “excellent positioning” and who is “very strong in the air“.

That latter description is justified by his impressive ratio of 2.8 successful aerial duels per game (via WhoScored), while nine of his 14 professional goals (64.3%) have come with his head.

Llorente is also quite assured with the ball at his feet, recording a passing success rate of 84.8% last season. However, some of the defensive aspects of his game are not so encouraging.

He averages 1.2 tackles and 1.2 interceptions per game, not a vast figure for a centre-back, and he does not have a great disciplinary record, having been booked 15 times and sent off once in 57 appearances for Real Sociedad, averaging a yellow card every 3.8 games.

His passing accuracy is marginally better than that of Wallace (84.7%) and the Lazio man won just 1.7 aerial duels per game last season, although his tally of 1.9 interceptions per game was far better than Llorente’s.

Rugani has an even better passing success rate of 90% and won 2.7 aerial duels per game in 2018/19, but only managed 0.5 tackles and 1.1 interceptions per game last term.

In Willy Boly and Ryan Bennett, Wolves already have two centre-backs who are very strong in the air, the duo winning 3.8 and 3.6 aerial duels per game respectively in 2018/19.

The pair are also much stronger than Llorente in terms of tackles (Boly 2.4, Bennett 1.7) and interceptions (Boly two, Bennett 1.3) per game.

Therefore, aside from greater ball composure, the Spain international doesn’t seem to have any notable attribute that isn’t already present at the heart of the Wolves defence, so there is no need for Nuno to hurriedly meet Real Sociedad’s £35m valuation of the player.

Wolves fans, do you think Llorente would make a big difference to the defence if he signs? Let us know your views in the comments section below!

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Article title: Wolves: Diego Llorente bid rejected by Real Sociedad

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