Diego Llorente’s return from injury is “great news” for Leeds United manager Marcelo Beilsa, according to Kevin Phillips.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Premier League golden boot winner admitted he was “amazed” to see the Spain international get forward and come close to scoring against Southampton.
Llorente was making just his third appearance for Leeds against the Saints, and his first at Elland Road, after suffering various injuries this season.
He picked up a groin strain while on international duty at the beginning of the season and suffered another set back on his debut against Chelsea in December.
The 27-year-old made his full debut against Newcastle United the following month but limped off with a hamstring injury after just 10 minutes.
Asked for his assessment of Llorente’s display in Leeds’ 3-0 win over Southampton, Phillips told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs: “I was amazed.
“He nearly scored the other night, when he was in the box. It was a great save from the keeper but what was he doing up there?
“It’s great news for Bielsa to have him back and playing a full game.
“It was a great result for Leeds after coming off the back of a disappointing one against Wolves.
“Again, to have him back fit but the test is keeping him fit.”
Speaking after the game, Bielsa echoed Phillips’ sentiments insisting it was “very important” for Llorente to complete 90 minutes.
The Argentine had warned about the mental impact of the constant injuries on the Spaniard after he limped off at St. James’ Park.