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Leeds United handed major boost ahead of FA Cup clash against Crawley

It’s fair to say that since arriving from Real Sociedad in the summer, things haven’t quite gone to plan for Leeds United defender Diego Llorente.

The 27-year-old has been restricted to just one solitary appearance for Marcelo Bielsa’s side, and that came against Chelsea back in early December, with the Whites losing 3-1 at Stamford Bridge.

Injuries have plagued the Spain international since his arrival at Elland Road, but ahead of Leeds’ FA Cup third round clash against Crawley on Sunday afternoon, Bielsa delivered a hugely exciting update on his summer signing.

If he's fit, would Llorente be a starter for Leeds?

Yes!

Yes!

No!

No!

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, the Whites boss confirmed that Llorente would be available for the game if necessary.

After such a long time out with injury, Bielsa may not want to take the chance of starting the Spaniard from the off, but he will surely be licking his lips at the prospect of finally being able to see what Llorente can really offer.

Following confirmation of his move from Sociedad, La Liga expert Guillem Balague hailed the centre-back as a “top player” and that he is “quality with his feet”.

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He represents everything Bielsa would want in a central defender, quick off the mark and very composed on the ball too. Playing out from the back like the Leeds boss loves his side to do, will become that much easier with Llorente in the mix.

And with Pascal Struijk having to deputise at centre-back alongside Luke Ayling, just having an extra natural option in the middle of defence will be a welcome relief for Bielsa too.

Sunday afternoon might come too soon for Llorente to make the starting line-up, but this injury update could be a real game-changer for the side going forward.

Article title: Leeds United handed major boost ahead of FA Cup clash against Crawley

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