Leeds United

2 Leeds United players that simply have to step up after club oversee senior player exit

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Leeds United allowed Diego Llorente to leave the club on transfer deadline day this week, as he secured a loan switch to AS Roma.

The Italian club have paid a loan fee of around €500k for Llorente’s services but hold an option to buy the 29-year-old Spanish defender this summer for a fee of around €18 million, as per Gianluca Di Marzio.

Llorente has played 59 times for Leeds but is set to depart after two-and-a-half seasons with the club.

Here, we take a look at TWO players who simply have to step up in his absence.

Luke Ayling

The 31-year-old fan favourite has played much of his football this season as a right-back but at various times in his career at Leeds has played a centre-back.

He is perfectly comfortable there and playing more centrally may suit him these days given his age and lack of mobility. It’s something Leeds will have to consider with the departure of Llorente.

The Whites have no other senior right footed player at centre-back outside of Robin Koch and Ayling. Between the pair they will likely play the bulk of minutes at right centre-back for the remainder of this season.

The big updated Luke Ayling quiz – Can Leeds United fans score 20/20?

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Did Ayling make any senior appearances for Arsenal?

Diogo Monteiro

Despite his tender age, and having just joined the club, there is excitement at Thorp Arch around the Portuguese youth international.

There is expectation that he is the future at Elland Road. He has enormous potential and could find himself in the first-team frame sooner rather than later.

Koch and Ayling are ahead of him at right centre-back but all of Leeds’ other central defenders are left footed, so there is a pathway for Monteiro to potentially reach the senior team quickly.

The 18-year-old is mobile and comfortable in possession, he also anticipates danger well and has a good reading of the game for his age. There is a chance for him to impress should an injury crisis hit, or if he is simply well beyond the standard of Under-21 football.

Do Leeds need to replace Llorente?





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