Leeds Confirm Signing of Real Sociedad Defender Diego Llorente

Diego Llorente
Diego Llorente is coming to Leeds | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Leeds United have confirmed the signing of Real Sociedad defender Diego Llorente.

The 27-year-old made 29 appearances for the White and Blues last season, helping his side secure a sixth placed finish in La Liga. The centre-back has signed a four-year deal at Elland Road and will wear the number 14 shirt that was sported by Eddie Nketiah last campaign.

Marcelo Bielsa has already strengthened his squad with the additions of Rodrigo, Robin Koch, Hélder Costa, Illan Meslier and Joe Gelhardt. Meanwhile, Jack Harrison has been brought back on loan from Manchester City.

The fee paid for Llorente is understood to be in the region of €20m (£18.3m), which would increase the club's net spend this season to around £80m. This makes Leeds the biggest spenders of the three promoted clubs by some distance.

Llorente started his career at Real Madrid, making a handful of appearances for the first team but spending the majority of his time with the reserves. Successful loan spells at Rayo Vallecano and Málaga followed, before he departed the Santiago Bernabeu permanently for Sociedad in 2017.

Diego Llorente
Hands up if you love Leeds | Denis Doyle/Getty Images

As well as excelling at club level, Llorente also has international experience, making his debut for Spain back in 2016. He went on to win four additional caps for the Red Fury and was recently involved in his side's Nations League game against Ukraine, where he was an unused substitute.

Bielsa will be hoping that Llorente shores up Leeds' shaky defence. Last season, they possessed one of the best defensive records in the Championship. However, in their first two games back in the Premier League, the Whites have shipped no fewer than seven goals.

They opened up the season with an entertaining 4-3 loss to Liverpool, before defeating Fulham last weekend by the same scoreline.