Noel Whelan has tipped Diego Llorente to start on the Leeds United bench against Wolves as he makes his comeback from injury.
The former Leeds striker and lifelong fan at Elland Road, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted he did not want to see the 27-year-old rushed back into the side after his numerous fitness problems this season.
As confirmed by Marcelo Bielsa at his pre-match press conference, the Spanish defender is available to play against Nuno Espirito Santo’s men after recovering from a hamstring injury.
📰 "Klich and Llorente are available. Phillips and Rodrigo are not." Marcelo on the squad ahead of Wolves pic.twitter.com/NdI668i3WI
— Leeds United (@LUFC) February 18, 2021
Llorente has played just twice for Leeds since signing from Real Sociedad last summer as a result of several injury problems.
He lasted just 10 minutes on his first start for the Whites against Newcastle United back in January and has not featured since.
Despite Bielsa revealing the centre-back is back in contention, Whelan suggested he may have to settle for a place on the bench at Molineux.
Whelan told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “Llorente is available this evening as well so would that be a case of putting Llorente straight back into the side? We’ll have to wait and see.
“I think the bench is probably the right move, to be quite honest with you. The way this season’s gone, the way he’s started his career with injuries, the last thing that we want is for any kind of repercussion or a different injury that’s going to leave him out again.
“We’ve hardly seen him this season.”
Llorente was forced to wait until early December to make his Leeds debut after he suffered a groin injury on international duty in October.
He came on as a substitute against Chelsea and played 81 minutes before suffering a recurrence of the same problem which kept him out until January.