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Leeds United sign Diego Llorente from Real Sociedad

The Whites bring in another centre-back as they look to strengthen the back-line further.

Real Sociedad v Espanyol - La Liga Santander
Llorente features for Sociedad against Espanyol in La Liga.
Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.