Noel Whelan has been left buzzing to hear Diego Llorente is growing in confidence on the Leeds United training ground.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds striker suggested the summer signing had finally settled after a tough start to life in Yorkshire.
Speaking on the official Leeds United podcast, Patrick Bamford revealed the Spain international, who he dubbed as an “introvert”, had started coming out of his shell at Thorp Arch.
As revealed by Football Insider, Marcelo Bielsa views Llorente as his outstanding centre-back option and plans to build the defence around him.
The 2020 signing has had a stop-start season as a result of injuries, with just 10 appearances under his belt so far.
However, he has started Leeds’ last eight games and scored his first goal in the 1-1 draw with Liverpool.
Whelan suggested the defender was finally showing to demonstrated his qualities both on and off the pitch.
Whelan told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “It‘s positive because you only get that kind of voice out there on the training ground when you feel settled.
“When you’ve played enough games, when you’re used to playing with your teammates. He’s not had that since he’s joined Leeds.
“It’s the confidence, knowing that you can speak up in training, knowing you can start dictating to players when you’re on the field as well. Being that leader.
“This is everything that we wanted. He’s a Spain international and as an international should come that leadership and that person that demands of other players. Also puts in performances for himself at a level that we expect from an international.
“Everything that he’s doing right now is positive. Every single game he’s playing in, he’s getting better and better. I think that’s bringing best out in Cooper and Struijk next to him. Confidence grows confidence.”
Bamford told the Official Leeds United podcast: “Since he started coming into the team, back fit and start playing more, he’s opened up more. He was relatively quiet when he first joined. It’s hard coming to a new club, getting injured and not knowing anyone.
“He is playing better and better each game. He’s quiet, an introvert. He does interact, he is learning English more. The Spanish lads helped him feel welcome. He’s starting to feel more settled.”
In other news, Whelan is buzzing as Leeds United leave Florentino Perez fuming.