McLeish View: Thorp Arch issue at heart of devastating Leeds star setback - Exclusive
Alex McLeish has suggested Marcelo Bielsa’s intense training demands at Leeds United may have contributed to Diego Llorente’s latest devastating setback.
The former Rangers and Scotland boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, compared the defender’s situation to when Jurgen Klopp suffered a spate of injury problems when he first arrived at Liverpool.
Speaking after the win over Newcastle, as quoted by injury analyst Ben Dinnery, Bielsa confirmed the Spaniard had picked up a “similar problem” to the one which had kept him out of action since early December.
Bielsa on Llorente: “He has a similar problem to the one as before. It’s a problem for him, us, all of us. In this moment, Diego’s state of mind worries me because of the succession of injures.”
Ongoing groin problem which has been hampering the Spaniard since October. #LUFC
— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) January 26, 2021
The centre-back managed to last just nine minutes in what was his first start for Leeds since signing from Real Sociedad last summer.
He has been plagued by injuries this term, first picking up a groin injury on international duty before picking up a hamstring problem after his debut against Chelsea in December.
McLeish believes Llorente’s body may be struggling to cope with the new demands set by Bielsa at Thorp Arch and pointed to Liverpool’s early struggles as evidence to support his case.
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McLeish told Football Insider: “He’s now getting training from Bielsa that possibly he’s never had before.
“When you think of Klopp when he came to Liverpool with the Gegenpress – you know Bielsa also likes to play with energy and players pressing, non-stop energy – and Klopp had a lot of injuries, because he was training the guys in a different way to maintain their fitness, to overcome injuries or to eradicate injuries.
“We did begin to see a massive difference in Liverpool players in general.
“When some players were getting injured in Klopp’s early months and then all of a sudden, you know, you start to see a very dangerous Liverpool team who, let’s face it, they had incredible stamina.
“Possibly he’s struggled a wee bit with the training and there were ongoing problems, I think, with one or two at Liverpool, and now that could be the case for Leeds United.”