Leeds United have the chance to restore their form and brush off their recent 4-2 loss at the hands of Arsenal. Despite their impressive displays against Leicester City and Crystal Palace, Mikel Arteta’s side outclassed them last time out.
Tonight is their chance to resurrect their mistakes. The Whites will travel to Molineux to face off against Wolves in a bid to keep climbing the Premier League table.
Injury has plagued Leeds’ returning top flight season as they have been without the likes of Robin Koch and more recently, key players Kalvin Phillips and Rodrigo. However, Marcelo Bielsa has given a positive update in his latest press conference, confirming that summer signing Diego Llorente is match fit.
“[Mateusz] Klich and Llorente are available. Phillips and Rodrigo are not,” the Argentine declared.
This is a huge boost for Leeds, who will be able to field a strong defensive line against Wolves this evening. In both Llorente and Koch’s absence, Bielsa has been forced to deploy Luke Ayling and the lesser favoured Pascal Struijk at centre-back. However, tonight, Llorente could return to the action to partner Liam Cooper as they prepare to take on Nuno Espirito Santo’s in-form attack.
The Spaniard signed for his new club back in September on a deal worth £22,000 per week. But since his arrival, he has been limited to just two Premier League appearances in his debut campaign. According to Transfermarkt, Llorente has been sidelined for a total of 127 days, missing 21 matches all in all.
The new recruit has a lot to prove after being out for so long, not like Koch who took to his new club like a duck to water. But for Llorente, he is yet to establish himself as a solid part of Bielsa’s squad. This could all change this evening with an influential performance against Wolves.
Given how the Whites were dismantled by Arsenal in the first-half last week in the Premier League, bringing a natural centre-back in Llorente back into the fold and perhaps moving Luke Ayling back to right-back could hold the key to giving Bielsa’s side a bit more defensive stability.
The Leeds boss must throw his summer signing straight back into the team on Friday night.