At 32 years of age, the signing of Fernando Llorente by Tottenham raised a few eyebrows. His arrival was in stark contrast to the clubs recent policy of purchasing and developing young players. Against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu however, Llorente showed his worth and why manager Mauricio Pochetino changed the clubs recent transfer strategy to acquire his services. The forward has played for some of Europe’s top clubs and is also a world cup winner. His arrival injected some much needed experience into a youthful Tottenham squad.
Big game know how
Against Real Madrid, in only his second start for the club, Llorente proved his worth. His hold up play was excellent and he also assisted Tottenham’s best chance of the night by playing fellow striker Harry Kane through on goal. Llorente’s hold up play was on point throughout the game and he also assisted a further chance for Christian Eriksen with an astute headed flick on. Llorente was also unlucky not to win a penalty for his team after being fouled in the box. His size and aerial ability kept the Real Madrid defenders pre occupied throughout the game.
Tottenham’s “plan B”
Last season, Fernando Llorente was the premier league’s top scorer of headed goals.The Spaniard scored 8 headers in total for Swansea City. Tottenham were criticized for not really having a “Plan B” at times last season, against sides capable of defending deep the North London side were sometimes bereft of ideas. With Dutch striker Vincent Janssen struggling and with only two goals from open play in the Premier league, Spurs didn’t have anyone to come on and compliment Harry Kane’s play. With Llorente’s signing Tottenham now have the capacity to play with two tandem strikers and manager Mauricio Pochetino will be pleased with the options this allows him.
Despite the combative nature of his play. Llorente was only shown a yellow card on three occasions last season. As a world cup winner who has also featured in a champions league final, it is hoped Llorente can assist captain Hugo Lloris in being the “cool heads” in the big games and keep the younger players focused. He will be looking to lead by example.
At 32 years old Fernando Llorente is in the twilight of his career. For Tottenham to have a striker with a proven Premier League goal scoring record to come of the bench or give Kane a rest when needed, is a massive boost. Even if Llorente doesn’t score a single goal, his experience, know how, and hold up play will result in him being considered a significant asset at Spurs.
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