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Diego Llorente: Madrid's Swiss army knife for next season

The canterano, who can play in four different positions, is on loan at Málaga this season after spending the previous campaign at Rayo.

Diego Llorente.
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Real Madrid are planning to make Marcos Llorente a first team payer next season and have the same idea concerning the “other” Llorente, Diego. Real are taking the slow and steady approach with the canterano, who spent last season on loan at Rayo where he played 2,874 minutes, the second most-regular appearance maker at the club and earned a call-up to Spain’s pre-Euro 2016 squad during which he made his international debut in a friendly against Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Málaga loan

Llorente is on loan at Málaga this season, where has played every minute of La Liga so far under Juande Ramos, who asked for the defender to be brought in as he likes Llorente’s ability to bring the ball out from the back. That was enough to convince Llorente, who had a succulent offer from Villarreal. “All paths lead to Málaga,” he told AS at the time.

At Real since the age of eight

Llorente was formed at Real Madrid, arriving at Valdebebas at the age of eight from Trabenco FC in Zarzaquemada, where his father was a coach, and following in the footsteps of his brother Jesús, who also played in Real’s youth ranks.

Ability to play in several positions

Although Llorente’s main virtue is his courage (he once played with a broken nose), he couples that with notable football intelligence. Llorente is a student and is studying for a degree in teaching and he also soaks up football knowledge, which has made him something of a Swiss army knife for his managers. A two-footed player, at Castilla he played in both full back positions and in the middle of defence. “He is like Goyo Benito, he has no fear of anything,” his coaches at Castilla said.

Midfielder under Paco Jémez

At Rayo, Paco Jémez turned Llorente into a midfielder through necessity and he shone in that position as well; Uefa included Llorente in their Liga Revelations 11. Like Nacho a useful utility player, Llorente will return to the Bernabéu in June.