Fernando Llorente Signs for Tottenham Hotspur
In a late deadline day move, striker Fernando Llorente signs for Tottenham Hotspur. Financial terms have not yet been released.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 31, 2017
Skills and Assets
Llorente is a strong, physical, player capable of deploying as a target man. He lacks any real pace but instead relies on his ability to play with those around him. Therefore, he could bring in the likes of Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen, giving them an outlet to exchange passes with. Standing at 6ft 4in, he is an aerial threat and could help to convert the crosses of Serge Aurier and Danny Rose. Furthermore, he could be a useful player if Spurs need to find a goal late in the match. Fielding Harry Kane and Llorente together would provide an incredibly physical front line and would allow Spurs to launch long balls forward if needed.
One concern about the transfer is the longevity of Llorente’s usefulness. At 32, he is reaching his peak. However, unlike more rapid strikers, Llorente has never been a fast player anyway. An interesting comparison can be made to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is three years older, yet still is a source of goals for Manchester United. Besides, Llorente could be a wise transfer as a temporary stop-gap. He may not be a player to stay very long at the club, but his brief service could help to bolster the squad massively.
The Case of Vincent Janssen
Spurs will now have three strikers at the club. This threatens Vincent Janssen’s match time, who already is quite lacking in minutes. However, despite this, towards the end of last season, he made invaluable contributions from the bench. His role as support striker, able to set up goals, alleviated the pressure on him to score. In truth, Janssen has not fully proved himself yet as a goalscorer, and with the new arrival, he will have less chance to prove himself. As a result, he may well end up moving either before the transfer window closes, or perhaps a move in a later transfer window. This would be a shame to lose a player who appeared to have so much promise.
This signing is vital in providing depth and competition. Harry Kane has won the Golden Boot for the last two seasons but is faltering during the accursed August month. Now, Kane has defied injuries and early season droughts for the past two seasons and has had the resilience to still become the leading goalscorer. No doubt his form will pick up and thus the goals will flow once more. But, what could aid Kane is a striker like Llorente, who is another source of goals. Last season he managed 15 goals across all competitions, which is hardly world beating. However, it proves that he does have goal scoring experience and most importantly, is confident in front of goal. This means that Kane has a player to compete with, but also a player that could allow Kane rest in lesser matches.
Tottenham have finally found themselves a proven Premier League striker. Llorente will help Spurs in the short term to bolster their attacking options, thus allowing Kane some rest and relief. However, this transfer may see the departure of Janssen, who will perhaps be frustrated at the lack of match time. Overall, this is a wise move on deadline day that will allow Mauricio Pochettino better tactical flexibility.