At this time of the year, every club goes ahead with their plans for a new striker. As we wrote earlier, every club goes around trying to find a striker who can convert that 15 goals to 20 and may be to 25. Getting a striker who can give you 25 goals a season is gold dust. And with very few strikers available, every club is being linked with every other striker. Result? Even those strikers who are third-choice at their clubs are linked with big money moves.
Yes, we are talking about the Juventus Spanish striker Fernando Llorente. There is no doubt that he is way down the pecking order at the Italian club. He is so much down the order that even the sale of Carlos Tevez couldn’t lift him higher in the club’s plans for the next season. No wonder then that Juventus is trying to offload him this transfer window.
For Llorente, this is a new low. He rose up the junior levels at Athletic Bilbao and soon became their first-choice forward. Llorente soon was one of the hot shot forwards widely followed by many clubs across the continent. This led to him refusing to sign a new deal with Bilbao in 2012. The Basque club then went on to freeze the striker and for almost one year he was banished to train with the youth squad. He was allowed to sign for Juventus only after his contract expired in July 2013.
Llorente could never regain the form with Juventus. Though he scored 18 goals in all competitions in 2013-14 season, he was never their first-choice. His form further deteriorated last year and he ended up with just 9 goals. The emergence of Alvaro Morata and the latest signings of Mario Mandzukic, Paulo Dybala and even Simone Zaza pushed Llorente to the exit door.
The big question now is will Arsenal benefit from the signing of Llorente? It is difficult to discard the goals he scored for Athletic or even for Juventus. At the same time, it is difficult to discard the fact that he is way past his prime. Signing him could be similar to what Manchester United did with Radamel Falcao last season – thinking that a past-proven striker will give them goals.
Llorente could not be more than a backup striker at Arsenal, even if he is signed. But for that, the club already has Danny Welbeck or even Chuba Akpom. If Wenger wants to have more goals, he should wash his hands off Llorente and sign a proven striker. Someone who can still give you at least 25 goals a season!