Leeds raided Real Sociedad to sign Llorente during last summer’s transfer window, but the Spaniard quickly picked up a groin injury, which was then followed by a hamstring injury.


In February he was able to begin a lengthy run of starts, which has continued, and has established himself in the heart of the Leeds defence.



Llorente helped Leeds keep a clean sheet on Saturday with a 4-0 win at Burnley and Whelan is hugely impressed with what the Spaniard is showing on the pitch, not least how he comes to the aid of his team-mates.


And Whelan thinks Llorente is showing clear leadership qualities.



“Llorente, you can just see him becoming that leader out there can’t you?” Whelan said post match on BBC Radio Leeds.


“Hence why he is the first one in there, stepping in, grabbing three or four players from Burnley, shoving them away, protecting his team-mates.



“That is a leader, that is a captain.”


Llorente came through the youth ranks at Real Madrid, but could not establish himself at the Bernabeu and left permanently to join Real Sociedad in 2017.