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Diego Llorente admits to shocking training sessions of Bielsa

Fri 02 April 2021 | 11:03

Joining Leeds for a €25 million fee from Real Sociedad last summer, the 27-year-old defender is optimistic his side can push on even further next year as they are currently sitting 11th on 39 points.

“To be honest, people had spoken to me about Bielsa but until you are actually playing for him you don’t realise just how different he is in so many facets of training,” the Spaniard told the

Guardian

.

“At first, it’s a shock because his methodology is so different. There are certain drills that are very analytical, that describe certain specific moments in games that, because of our style of play, are repeated often. Movements you should be making off the ball, the way you support the free man, the help you give teammates. It’s very specific.

“That methodology is striking compared with the more general approaches you’ve been used to, but when you do these exercises and then you see that in 90 minutes that exact situation is repeated 10 or 20 times, you realise why we work that way.

"You understand why we do things differently, that every drill has a meaning, and can be directly transferred on to the pitch. You start to understand that, which is when you realise how special he is. You watch the video analysis, individually and as a team, and you can see how it improves the team.”

Making just seven appearances so far this season, Llorente has endured an injury-hit start to his Leeds career as he had to wait until December to make his debut.

However, earning a call up to the Spain squad for the recent World Cup qualifiers, he has played every minute of the club’s last five matches.

“It was a very tough time because as well as the injury I had changed country,” added Llorente, who said he had watched a documentary series on Leeds during his lay-off to learn more about the club. “That’s a big change and my family had to adapt too, and then I’m not playing.

"There were some tough days, but my objective was clear: to be a success here. When you’re driven by a goal like that, nothing else matters.

"There are always setbacks – life puts obstacles in your path – but you have to overcome those with patience and the knowledge that if you keep working your opportunity will come. That was the way I approached things from the first minute until I could finally make my debut. That’s the approach I’ve always had and always will have throughout my career.

“Now I’m just looking forward to getting the fans back, which I’m sure will make a difference. Combine their support and our work and that’s the key to being successful. I still haven’t been able to live that first-hand but I’ve seen it in the documentary and I just hope that day comes soon when I can experience it for myself.”

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