Leeds United defender Diego Llorente has shared his delight at the move to Elland Road and the chance to work under Marcelo Bielsa.

The Spaniard joined Leeds in an £18m deal from Real Sociedad in the summer, with Bielsa looking to add competition at the back after Ben White returned to Brighton.

After a difficult start to the season due to injuries, he’s established himself in the Leeds defence in the second half of the campaign, starting and finishing all of their league game since the end of February.

He’s impressed too and says he’s delighted with his decision to move after a difficult start to life at the club.

“I’m very happy with the decision I made to come to the Premier League, a league that attracted me a lot,” he told Onda Cero.

“I’ve been adapting to the physical rhythm, and I feel more and more comfortable.

“You can’t imagine how meticulous Bielsa is and how he expresses it. He has a very analytical style, and you end up enjoying seeing how passionate he is.”

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Like many players who make the move from Spain to England, Llorente has had to adapt quickly to survive in a very a different football climate.

Life on the pitch is particularly different, with football in Spain often cited as being more methodical and tactical than in England, where the style is far more physical than its European counterparts.

It’s a difference that many players have struggled with down the years, but Llorente admits there are numerous things which have taken him by surprise his arrival.

“Personally, I have been surprised by this league in all aspects,” he said.

“Physically, the speed of play, the players that are there, I think it is now a step above the Spanish league. 

“In Spain, they train very well, but the style of play is slower, more tactical. Here it’s pure spectacle, a lot of physical play.

“On a technical level, I don’t think there are big differences; the speed of the game here requires a lot of technique.”

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Llorente has enjoyed a rapid rise over the last few years after establishing himself as one of the stars at Real Sociedad after arriving in 2017.

Before then he spent his entire career with Real Madrid, rising up through their youth ranks to the C team, Castilla team and then first team, where managed three appearances before leaving permanently.

It means he maintains a close relationship with the Spanish giants, despite the fact he was never handed the chance to establish himself at the Bernabeu.

“I have a very special affection for Real Madrid, which has formed me as a footballer and also in terms of values,” he added.

“I’ve been there for fifteen years and I have very nice memories. They have the resources to make sure that regardless of the system, they get a great performance.”