Deal for Diego Llorente could be done by the weekend

22 Sep 2020 12:06 pm, by YorkshireSquare

You can’t blame Victor Orta of being short of options this summer and as one door closes another opens. With Ben White staying at Brighton, Leeds quickly moved on Robin Koch but had been rumoured to be looking at strengthening their defence further by signing 18 year old Croatian defender Josko Gvardiol. With Gvardiol now out of the picture, set on a move to RB Leipzig, Leeds have quickly turned their attention to Real Sociedad centre back Diego Llorente. It’s a development which has come out of nowhere but has been reported by Sky Sports and since corroborated by Phil Hay. The Athletic’s Leeds United writer confirming Victor Orta is in talks, negotiations ongoing with a hope that they can get a deal done before the weekend.

Llorente has been hot property with links to Liverpool and Leicester this summer and AS Monaco offering €20 million (£18.5 million) for his services back in January. If Leeds want to seal the deal they will need to make an offer in the region of that fee. Whilst Gvardiol was a young, extremely talented prospect, Llorente comes with more experience. Starting his career at Real Madrid he has little first team football but picked up plenty of La Liga experience during loan spells at Rayo Vallecano and Malaga before a €6 million move to Real Sociedad in 2017. Since then Llorente has played 77 times for the Basque club including Europa League appearances. He made his Spain debut in 2016, making 5 appearances for La Roja so far.

Spanish football journalist Guillem Balague has said Llorente is a very athletic centre back can also play as a full back and defensive midfielder. He has quality with his feet but has struggled a bit as he played left of the two centre backs this season and had a muscle problem in January. He perhaps risks too much and produces a mistake or two, but he is a top player, considered on his best form one of top 5-6 Spanish centre backs. Fantastic with long passing and comfortable with short. Clever and brave anticipating, but perhaps needs to be stronger in 50-50s. Good in set pieces both defending and attacking (scores goals). He has good pace and will need it to defend the big spaces Leeds create behind defenders.

The singing of Diego Llorente could be to provide more depth in an area Leeds are short on but would also provide Marcelo Bielsa with more options in terms of fotmation. The possibility of playing three at the back, as he famously did with Chilli and Argentina, would mean an extra man in midfield and potentially more opportunities for Rodrigo to come into the team. It could also address some of the concerns raised over the first two games, with Leeds shipping 7 goals so far in the Premier League.