Danny Mills has tipped Diego Llorente to earn his first start for Leeds United against Newcastle United on Tuesday night.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Whites and England defender delivered his verdict after the 27-year-old returned to action for Leeds Under-23s last week.
The Spain international played the first 45 minutes against Stoke City at Thorp Arch and scored the only goal of the game as Leeds ran out 1-0 winners.
It was his first game since he played 81 minutes against Chelsea in December when he replaced an injured Robin Koch early on.
Llorente has struggled with injuries since his summer move from Real Sociedad but Mills has tipped the 27-year-old to make his first start at St. James’ Park.
“It [Under-23s football] is not at that ultra Premier League level, we know that, Mills told Football Insider.
“But what you’ve got is, he’s playing football. He’s back on the pitch.
“If he’s ready then why not? Play him. That comes down to how good he looks in training, how fit he looks.
“Having that little bit of match practice in what effectively would be a reserve team game.
“Luke Ayling has done a fantastic job, for a player to fill in I think he’s done incredibly well and he’s had some really impressive performances.
“But this is what we say when it comes down to it, you can get away with it for so long but it’s not always instinctive because it’s not what you’ve done your whole career, it’s not where you’ve played. That’s where you can get caught out from time to time.
“You’re levels of concentration have to be that much higher because it’s not always instinctive.”