Leeds United have completed the signing of Diego Llorente from Real Sociedad in a deal worth around £17 million. This is the third new addition to the Leeds squad this summer alongside Rodrigo Moreno and Robin Koch, as the Spaniard signs on a four-year deal.
In The Whites’ first two matches of the season, they scored seven and conceded seven in thrilling matches against Liverpool and Fulham respectively. Since then, Leeds have been encouraged to bring in a new defensive player to support the back-line, with set-piece defending proving problematic among some other things.
✍️ #LUFC are delighted to announce the signing of defender Diego Llorente from Real Sociedad— Leeds United (@LUFC) September 24, 2020
United’s new number 14 was identified as a new defender option and negotiations accelerated rapidly, with talks opening over the weekend and a deal being announced by Sociedad on Tuesday night (22/09/20). A medical was completed in Madrid the following day before flying over on the Thursday to complete the move to Elland Road.
Diego Llorente's tweet translated into English #lufc #mot pic.twitter.com/4c2kPLNsUE— Ryan (@LeedsUtdRyan) September 23, 2020
In this transfer, Leeds sign a player who is highly regarded in his native Spain with five senior caps to his name. Llorente is known to be strong in defending set-pieces and is versatile, stepping into midfield as well as at right-back. He can of course play-out from the back, and is considered to be a great athlete.
Diego Llorente is a very athletic CB who has played also as full back and CM. Quality with his feet, struggled a bit as he played left of the two CB this season and a muscle problem in January. But he is a top player. Fantastic with long passing and comfortable with short -THREAD https://t.co/qPAVZjxe4T— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) September 22, 2020
This is a statement signing on paper, as Leeds only look to add to the senior squad with players better than they already have, as promised by Victor Orta. How Marcelo Bielsa plans to handle his centre-back situation is an intriguing situation, with Llorente struggling to cope on the left-side of defence for Sociedad last season.
Meanwhile, Robin Koch has played well other than the two harsh penalties that he has given away so far this season, while Liam Cooper is the captain and knows the style far better than the two new arrivals next to him in central defence. You don’t pay up to £20 million for a back-up centre-half, but Bielsa’s way tends to be that a player must train intensely for a period before being considered to start.
El Leeds United se lleva a Diego Llorente de la Real Sociedad por 20 millones de €. 4 de ellos irán al Real Madrid.— Wanabet ⚽⚾ (@wanabet_es) September 23, 2020
⏩Semedo por su parte se va por 30 millones+10 al Wolverhamptonpic.twitter.com/jZwMRlOpYw [Vía @RealSociedad]
Much needed competition has been added to the defensive unit, and Leeds are still looking to add a creative midfielder to the ranks. With a deal for Rodrigo De Paul holding-up, Michael Cuisance (Bayern Munich) has appeared as a possible candidate as Leeds look for alternatives to an expensive deal for De Paul.