'I spoke to Jack Harrison last week...' - Exclusive: Bent verdict on Leeds injury blow
Darren Bent has put Diego Llorente’s latest injury setback down to the intense demands of the Premier League and in training at Leeds United.
The former England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the Spain international had struggled to cope with Marcelo Bielsa’s methods after speaking to Jack Harrison about how tough sessions at Thorp Arch can be.
Llorente broke down with a muscular injury after just nine minutes against Newcastle United last week week in what was his very first start since joining from Real Sociedad.
Diego Llorente looking at three to four weeks out with his latest hamstring issue. Bielsa: "We're all trying to help him and support him through this injury."
Knocks in the camp ahead of Leicester but nothing serious, Bielsa says.
— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) January 29, 2021
The 27-year-old suffered a groin injury earlier in the campaign and, after recovering to make his debut against Chelsea in December, suffered another hamstring injury towards the end of 2020.
Bent has suggested the centre-back’s body is not used to the notorious demands of Bielsa’s training sessions or the intense pace of the Premier League and insisted he would have to adapt quickly to forge a career at Elland Road.
“You start to question what exactly is going on because he always seems to be injured, can’t recover properly and little niggles,” Bent told Football Insider.
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“You have to look at the Premier League and the Premier League is relentless. Now I don’t care, unless you’re coming from the Bundesliga which I’d probably say is similar to the Premier League, when you’re coming from Spain and places like that, mate, it’s tough on the body.
“It’s high pace, high energy, so it might take him a little bit of time to get used to it and then you throw into the mix Bielsa’s training methods which are intense. I spoke to Jack Harrison last week and he said about how intense the training was, how it’s not five-a-sides and it’s a lot of hard work, a lot of energy.
“When you factor that in as well as the Premier League games, mate, it’s a hard league to just go all of a sudden: ‘Right, I can just do it.’ It’s not that easy and I can fully understand why he’s breaking down.
“Hopefully he can get over this injury, get some fitness behind him and then eventually he’ll become accustomed to it because he’s a big, big player for Leeds and they’re going to need him.”
In other news: ‘I love that’ – Bent buzzing over Leeds United transfer reveal.