Diego Llorente will find it “tough” to get up to speed for Leeds United after recovering from his latest injury blow.
That is according to former Leeds midfielder Michael Brown who, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested it would be a “big ask” for the Spaniard to step into Marcelo Bielsa’s side any time soon after over a month out.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s game against Brighton, as quoted by Leeds Live, the Argentine boss confirmed the 27-year-old was fit and available after suffering a muscle strain in late December.
Llorente’s one and only appearance for Leeds so far came as a substitute in the 3-1 defeat to Chelsea in early December, having struggled with injury issues since signing from Real Sociedad last summer.
Despite Bielsa’s positivity over the centre-back’s fitness, Brown has suggested fans may still have to wait a while before they see the Spanish star get back up to speed.
“We saw when he came in last time, we said it was going to be a big ask for him to get any football when he’s been out injured,” Brown told Football Insider.
“I remember speaking about it and we actually said will he start and what did he last? One game and 80 or so minutes?
“Listen, to start without playing many games and the tempo that you’ve got to play at, it will be tough.”
Leeds have suffered a host of problems at the heart of the defence with Llorente, Liam Cooper and Robin Koch having been ruled out for the medium-to-long-term throughout the season.
Bielsa has played right-back Luke Ayling and versatile enforcer Pascal Struijk as centre-backs in recent weeks.