Leeds United

2 pros and 2 cons to Leeds United overseeing Diego Llorente exit

Image for 2 pros and 2 cons to Leeds United overseeing Diego Llorente exit

Leeds United centre-back Diego Llorente sealed a deadline day loan switch to AS Roma this week.

The Serie A side 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 played 59 games for the Whites but is set to depart after two-and-a-half seasons with the club, having signed in the summer of 2020 from Real Sociedad.

Here, we take a look at the pros and cons of Llorente’s exit for Leeds. Looking at TWO of each.

Pro – Poor form

The central defender has been out of form for a while and a parting of ways was the best choice for both club and player at this point.

Llorente is going to play in a slower paced league and team under a manager who won’t allow him to be exposed in transition as often in Jose Mourinho. Roma have also played a back three this season, which offers extra protection. It is an ideal environment for him to improve his form and confidence once more.

Robin Koch has made right centre-back his own at Elland Road and Llorente simply needed a fresh start.

Con – CB depth

Leeds’ options at centre-back aren’t as plentiful now.

Left centre-back is well stocked, with Liam Cooper joined by Pascal Struijk and Max Wöber. All three are left footed, though, and less suited to the right side at the heart of Leeds’ defence.

Koch and Luke Ayling will likely cover right centre-back for the most part, but if there is an injury crisis Leeds may feel short with the departure of the Spaniard.

The big updated Diego Llorente quiz – Can Leeds United fans score 20/20?

1 of 20

Llorente made an appearance for Real Madrid.

Pro – Wage off the books

Llorente signed a new deal earlier this month, penning a contract until 2026.

His departure covers Leeds for at least the remainder of the season from paying his wages (or at least all of them). Every little helps when it comes to Financial Fair Play and getting a decent earner off the books who is not playing as regularly is of benefit in a pure economic sense.

Leeds cannot afford to have unhappy higher earners sat on the bench, which was becoming increasingly more frequent with Llorente.

Con – Option vs obligation

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 09: Diego Llorente of Leeds United celebrates after scoring their side’s third goal during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Leeds United at Villa Park on February 09, 2022 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Leeds failed to make the deal an obligation, instead bending to Roma’s wishes of an option to buy instead.

It means that if the 29-year-old fails to impress with his new club, then Leeds may find themselves in a position where they are required to shift him on in the summer and don’t find that very easy to do.

An obligation would have suited the club more. with guaranteed cash coming in that way, instead he could flop and his value may diminish, especially as he turns 30 this summer. A frustration for the Whites, for sure.

Do Leeds need to replace Llorente?





Share this article