The Spaniard made his Premier League bow at the weekend against Chelsea after being thrust into action at the nine-minute mark, as first choice centre-back Robin Koch limped off the pitch.


Llorente had been sidelined for an extended period due to an injury before making the bench against the Blues, but went on to partner skipper Liam Cooper for the remainder of the game as Leeds fell to a 3-1 loss at Stamford Bridge.



Whelan believes that Llorente’s debut showing had a lot of positives, as the former White lauded the 27-year-old for holding his own despite being thrown into the deep end against a top team in hostile territory.


The 45-year-old is confident that Llorente’s quality will shine through with a bit more game time under his belt and he backed the defender to push on harder after returning from his injury.



“I thought there was a lot of good parts of his game”, Whelan said on BBC Radio Leeds after the Chelsea defeat.


“He is an international centre half for Spain. He’s going to be good.



“Considering [at Chelsea] was his first game, kind of thrown into it really – I am pretty sure they probably didn’t want to use him either – but an injury to Koch forced him on earlier than they would have thought.


“Lots of positives from him being out there.


“It’s just nice to see him out there and fit and with a Leeds United shirt on.


“He’s going to get better and better.


“He needs a bit more game time, they were hoping to get 23s, it wasn’t the case.


“Sometimes you’ve got to throw people in at the deep end, but I thought he held it very well.”


It is unclear when Koch will be back in action and Marcelo Bielsa could hand Llorente his first top flight start in place of the German when Leeds host West Ham United on Friday.