Newly promoted Leeds United continued their busy transfer window on Thursday when they officially announced Diego Llorente as their newest acquisition. The 27-year-old completed a move to Elland Road and signed a four-year deal after “The Peacocks” agreed to send around 18 million pounds for the center half. According to TransferMarkt, Leeds have now scored around 88.2 million euros this summer, which is the fifth highest for newly promoted clubs in Europe. Only 2018 Wolves, 2018 Fulham, 2019 Aston Villa, and 2013 Monaco spent more.
Diego Llorente joins the club after playing his entire career up until this point in his native Spain. The 27-year-old started his pro career climbing up the ranks at Real Madrid C and B before finally making it to the first team in 2012. Once there, he only appeared in three matches over five seasons, but that’s mostly because he sent most of his time on loan spells at Rayo Vallecano and Malaga. In 2017, Llorente left Real Madrid to earn some real play time, and he found it at Real Sociedad. From 2017 to 2020, he appeared in 82 contests and helped lead his team up from 12th in 2018 to 6th this past season. He also was a part of the side that reached the 2020 Copa del Rey.
Llorente’s move to Sociedad also helped jumpstart his international career. As of writing, he’s earned five caps from the highly competitive Spanish National Team.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about this acquisition from Leeds’ perspective is that it’s not as if they needed a center back like Llorente. Manager Marco Bielsa already has a pair of solid players at that position, Liam Cooper and Robin Koch, so it’ll be interesting to see how the experienced Spaniard fits into the system. The key thing about Llorente’s arrival is that it gives Bielsa some much needed support that can help Leeds United’s chances as they attempt to survive in the Premier League. It’s rare to see a newly promoted team have a bench player as high-profile as Llorente, but that can be attributed to Bielsa’s magnetism as one of world football’s greatest minds.
In other Leeds related news, the club is also in the running for Manchester United winger Daniel James, who showed moments of brilliance during his first season in the Prem. If Leeds pick up the former Swansea man, it will only add to the excitement brewing at Elland Road.
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Featured Image – AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos