Italian outlet Calcio Mercato say Leeds United defender Diego Llorente left the field of play in ‘tears’ on Monday night during Roma’s 3-1 defeat to Atalanta after picking up another muscle injury – just as he was starting to shine.
Llorente, 29, had to wait to make a meaningful impact at Roma since joining the club on a loan-to-buy deal from Leeds towards the end of the January window. But of late, he has been starting regularly for Jose Mourinho’s men.
The Spain star started his sixth of eight Roma appearances on Monday night – his fourth Serie A start in a row. He was tasked with playing in the middle of Roma’s back three, replacing ex-Manchester United man Chris Smalling.
Beforehand, he played on the left. Llorente was used in the middle and struggled to cope with Duvan Zapata as Atalanta ran out 3-1 winners. But it was in the 92nd minute in which Llorente’s night took a turn for the worse.
Chasing the Colombia international, Llorente – no stranger to injury issues during his time at Leeds which limited him to 59 outings for the Whites – pulled up. A problem in his left thigh, which left Llorente in tears and forced to depart.
Leeds defender Llorente left in tears during Roma defeat to Atalanta
There has been plenty of talk that Llorente had been doing enough to tempt Roma into buying him permanently. Even Llorente has flirted at a permanent move. Clearly, his intention is to remain at Roma beyond his loan spell.
So, it is understandable to see him feel frustration and become upset at his latest injury, with every minute of his time on loan used to convince Roma. Time on the sidelines will do the opposite. Hopefully, not a serious one.