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25-Sep-2020, 11:49 pm

'If he can play against Real Madrid, he can play for us!' - Llorente ready for Premier League after Leeds move, says Bielsa

Diego Llorente Real Sociedad Rosenborg UEFA Europa League

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa says that new signing Diego Llorente won't need too much time to adapt to the Premier League.

The Spanish internationalwas an unused substitute for Sociedad in Sunday's match against Real Madrid, having playedthe full 90 minutes of the previous weekend's draw with RealValladolid.

Although Llorente has had an"atypical" week, Bielsa believes he's prepared to step right into the Leeds team if needed this weekend against Sheffield United.

"I don’t have any physical preference compared to any other manager, especially at centre-back which is a position where you run the least," said Bielsa at his pre-match press conference. "So I think if he needed to play that he could. He was due to play against Real Madrid just before his transfer was agreed.

"As a result, if he was able or going to play against Real Madrid then he’s sufficiently prepared to play for us but it is true that this last week would have been atypical for him and his team-mates will need to adapt a little bit more."

Llorente comes to Leeds after spending the last three seasons with Sociedad, making 82 appearances. The defender also featured for Malaga and Rayo Vallecano on loan after coming through Real Madrid's academy.

He was never able to crack Real Madrid's first team during his time at the club but, having since emerged as a senior international for Spain, Llorente is a player that Bielsa believes can step in and contribute in a variety of different roles.

"He’s a centre-back who can play either side, on Robin Koch’s side or Pascal Struijk or Liam Cooper’s," said Bielsa. "Technically he has a sufficient technique to play in the Premier League and he also has the ability to adapt to the physical demands of the Premier League.

"It’s not that we plan to play with a back three more often but it’s not to increase competition also because Pascal played a very important game against Liverpool.

"But in Koch's position he is the only right-sided centre-back that we have at the moment and if he got injured then we would have had to have got someone very young from the youth team or we would have had to have moved Luke Ayling or Kalvin Phillips out of position.

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