Leeds United have suffered a setback before their Premier League clash against West Brom this afternoon, with Diego Llorente ruled out of action.
The Spaniard was taken off by Marcelo Bielsa at half-time of the Whites’ victory over Southampton in midweek and it now appears that he will miss the final game of the season.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of the clash against the Baggies today, Bielsa said: “Llorente is not with us, throughout the first half at Southampton he felt something in his muscle that if he had continued he could have got injured where he got injured before, that’s why we decided that he shouldn’t participate in the second half of that game nor on Sunday.
“Every decision that I have taken I take it thinking of the player and thinking of Leeds United, not thinking in other aspects.”
The centre-back was in outstanding form in his 45 minutes on the pitch against the Saints, and that’s exactly why Bielsa will be gutted at not being able to count on him again.
As per Sofascore, Llorente won ten duels on the evening, which was by far the highest of any Leeds player, while he also made three tackles, one interception and one clearance. The defender also looked to get things going when trying to build out from the back, stepping out and making those line-breaking passes into midfield and further forward.
It was no surprise that his performance earned some rave reviews after the game, with Leeds Live‘s Beren Cross saying: “One of the few to come away from the first half with a bit of credit in the bank. Was assertive and combative. Rose to the challenge of the energetic hosts and their supporters when the pressure really came on Leeds.”
Llorente has emerged as a cornerstone of Leeds’ defence in recent weeks, starting the last 13 games in the Premier League, and coming up with some big performances – not least netting that late equaliser against Liverpool.
Being without him against West Brom will no doubt have Bielsa gutted that he doesn’t have the in-form Spaniard to call upon today.