Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente has turned down a new contract, putting Chelsea and Liverpool on alert for the 27-year-old. But could 'El Croucho' fit in the Prem?
Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente has turned down a new contract, putting Chelsea and Liverpool on alert for the 27-year-old. But could ‘El Croucho’ fit in the Prem?
The Athletic Bilbao front-man captured the hearts of many last season and not just because of his dashing eyes that could undress any woman at a mere glance. His goalscoring capabilities struck fear into the hearts of even the toughest defences in Europe as the Lion King enjoyed his most prolific season to date, ending the campaign with 29 goals in 53 appearances.
His hold up play, finesse, finishing ability and first touch is exactly the making of a world class front-man and at 27-years of age, still has his best years ahead of him. It was anticipated that he would play more of a part in Spain’s team in Polekraine, and though he will feel disappointed that Torres is getting the nod when Del Bosque decides 6 midfielders is just too many, anyone interested in buying him may well just see the financial (not to mention fitness) upside of him sitting a few matches out.
Spurs had regularly been linked with a move for the powerful striker and, despite missing out on Champions League football; the North London side are believed to have not altered their transfer targets irregardless of their participation in the Europa League. Regardless, it is surely doubtful that, given the choice between playing Champions League to earning 70k tops and playing Shamrock Rovers, Llorente would go for the Spuds.
However, one stumbling block in any deal could be his affection for Athletic Bilbao. As many bore witness during the semi-final of the Europa League, and in particular the second leg at San Memes against Sporting where Llorente was at his brilliant best, the Spaniard was in tears on the side of the pitch once the final whistle went before proclaiming that reaching the final of the Europa League with Athletic was the biggest honour of his career, despite being part of the Spanish World Cup winning side of 2010.
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