Leeds United defender Diego Llorente has renewed his contract with the club until 2026.
The Spanish centre-back has made 55 appearances for the Whites since joining them from Real Sociedad in September 2020, shortly after they sealed promotion to the Premier League.
His contract was initially due to expire in the summer of 2024, but this deal means he will now remain in Yorkshire for another three and a half years.
Llorente has currently won 10 caps, yet was not part of Luis Enrique’s Spain side which recently competed in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
This was most likely due, if not to ability, then the fact that he has struggled for playing time in West Yorkshire so far this season. He has made seven Premier League appearances in total this term, yet did not feature in any of the Whites’ last four league matches before the World Cup break.
Llorente’s contract extension comes two days after Pascal Struijk, another of Leeds’ defenders, had his own contract extended until 2027.
Ask any Leeds fan their honest opinion of Llorente, and the answer will more likely than not be a negative one.
This is hardly surprising considering the not insignificant €20m fee he was signed for from Sociedad, a figure his performances for the Whites so far have hardly come close to justifying.
A summary of the 29-year-old’s general displays for the Whites since joining is not a positive one; he may be described as accident-prone at best, and completely shambolic at worst. A disaster-ridden showing during Leeds’ 5-2 loss to Brentford in September this year represented a stark low point of Llorente’s career for the Whites.
The decision to extend the Spaniard’s contract, then, appears an odd one. Presumably the club are thinking about squad depth ahead of the rest of the Premier League season, but it’s hard to say.
Overall, the decision to keep Llorente until 2026 seems quite bewildering, just like the man himself.