It was one of the more surprising stories of the January transfer window, as Fernando Llorente was eyed by Antonio Conte as the ideal striker to move to Chelsea and provide back-up to Diego Costa, with summer signing Michy Batshuayi struggling to impress.
The Italian boss signed Llorente for Juventus back in 2013 and was keen to reunite with the Spanish forward in West London but relegation-battling Swansea City blocked a move from taking place, with the striker being far too crucial to their survival hopes.
Not securing a move to a side likely to win the Premier League and instead remaining with a team who face a struggle to even stay in the division, Llorente would have been forgiven for being annoyed at the situation but he’s made it clear that isn’t how he feels.
“I already know Conte from Juventus. But it’s difficult in the winter when there’s a way out from a side you’re playing for and it’s normal that they didn’t go ahead with the deal.”
“I’m very focused on the team and am looking forward to helping save us from relegation.”
After years of stability with Athletic Bilbao followed by seasons of success with Juventus and Sevilla, Fernando Llorente faces a different sort of battle entirely with Swansea City this season as he aims to avoid relegation with his side.
The experienced striker, who turns 32 this month, may not boast the same sort of numbers he did for first club Athletic Bilbao during his stints with Juventus and Sevilla but the Spaniard has found his feet in the Premier League, netting eight goals in 21 appearances.
Llorente’s goals will be crucial to Swansea’s hopes of survival and the fact that the Swans boast a capable striker will really help their struggle, giving them a boost compared to the likes of Hull City, who lost top-scorer Robert Snodgrass to West Ham United in January.