In Focus: Fernando Llorente would be a useful back-up option for Chelsea

According to reports in The Times, via the Daily Star, Chelsea are lining up Swansea City striker Fernando Llorente – who scorded 15 Premier League goals last season – as a replacement for Michy Batshuayi, with the Belgian set to leave the Blues on loan this summer.

What’s the word, then?

Well, big things would have been expected from Batshuayi following his £33m move from Marseille last summer, but it didn’t quite happen for the attacker and he made just one start in the Premier League all season, featuring for just 235 minutes of top flight action.

Despite the lack of playing time, the 23-year-old showed his potential by scoring five times – averaging a goal every 47 minutes – while he netted 11 times in 29 appearances in all competitions.

That has convinced manager Antonio Conte that he still has a future at Stamford Bridge, but The Times, via the Daily Star, say that he will be allowed to leave on a temporary basis.

If he does go, the Italian will look to bring Llorente as his replacement having expressed in interest in signing the 33-year-old during the January transfer window, and having worked with him before at Juventus.

How good was Llorente last season?

He was very impressive and one of the main reasons Swansea retained their Premier League status at the end of the campaign.

The tall Spaniard scored his 15 goals in just 33 Premier League appearances in his first season in England, to show that he can make a huge impact at this level despite being 32 years of age.

Where would he fit in at Chelsea?

With Diego Costa seemingly on his way out of Stamford Bridge this summer after being told via text message that he isn’t in Conte’s plans for next season, and with the club being heavily linked with a move for Everton striker Romelu Lukaku, Llorente is more than likely to be an option from the bench if he does move to Stamford Bridge.

However, with the increased number of fixtures the west London outfit will have next season on their return to the group stages of the Champions League, he may well be given some starts in the Premier League.

With his height and strength, he could also provide a different option for the Blues if they need a goal or are coming up against a more physical team.

What’s the verdict, then?

Well, there is no doubt that Llorente could be a useful addition as back up next season for Chelsea and they should get the deal done if it is possible.