The former Athletic Bilbao man was among the hottest properties last January as a host of clubs did battle to tie up a pre-contract deal. Juventus were the club to eventually come out on top, and in Llorente many believed they had the star name to fire them to European glory. Only a couple of months on from his move to Italy the Spaniard has found himself well down the pecking order and out of favour in Turin.
Juventus have a wealth of attacking riches at their disposal and it is believed that a Premier League move may not be out of the question should the Spaniard remain out of the team.
The Mail have reported that Wenger will indeed look to complete a loan deal this coming January in a bid to provide experienced competition for Olivier Giroud. Arsenal have been in imperious form so far this season, but clearly the striking department needs something of an overhaul if they wish to continue their current dominance into the New Year:
“Arsenal scouts have watched Llorente extensively in recent seasons and Wenger is a fan of the centre forward. Llorente joined Juventus from Athletic Bilbao in the summer, but has struggled to get in the team ahead of Carlos Tevez.”
“Arsenal are keen to take advantage of the situation by striking a temporary deal with Juve for the 28-year-old. Llorente has lost his place in the Spain squad and knows he must be playing regularly to ensure his place in Vicente Del Bosque World Cup plans.”
A deal that definitely has some legs, Llorente will be keen to impress ahead of a World Cup year where his place on the plane is still very much up in the air. Juve wont be too bothered about letting him leave so early on either, a free transfer upon which any deal will seem like good business.
So which of the North London clubs really represents the best destination?
Spurs are a team in transition and generally accepted as on the rise. A decent if not always scintillating start has seen them rise to the upper reaches of the Premier League table alongside their North London rivals. Many have been quick to attribute Spurs’ lack of goals this term to a misfiring strike-force, for me this is completely short-sighted.
Tottenham have arguably two of the best finishers in the whole of the League at their disposal and to offer them up only a handful of chances this season is borderline ridiculous. Some may argue that Llorente will offer Spurs the opportunity to go slightly more direct at times when AVB sees fit. I actually think this is a decent option to have, but a returning Adebayor in my opinion already offers this in abundance.
Llorente could move to Spurs and feasibly end up 4th choice, something that has already left him apparently unsettled in Turin.
Personally the best move for Llorente would be to the red half of North London. Arsenal are a club who not only find themselves in as enviable Premier League position as Spurs, but who also have the Champions League draw that Spurs don’t have as yet.
Arsenal have been full of goals this season, but this doesn’t mask the worrying lack of depth that they have in attack. Aside from Giroud there is the inexperienced Sanogo and the less than convincing Nicholas Bendtner. If Llorente could refind the kind of form that made him such a menace in La Liga, he could easily find himself leading the Arsenal attack in both the Champions League and Premier League for the second half of this season.
Llorente’s main shortcoming has always been his lack of pace and this may be something of concern for Wenger if he wants to give the likes of Ozil the freedom to play balls in behind the opposition. This is why for me having Sanogo, Giroud and Llorente at Arsenal’s disposal is so promising simply because they all offer something wholly different and as such give Wenger far greater options tactically in the future.
It would appear that Llorente will again be on the move come January.