Why a move for Swansea City's Fernando Llorente makes sense for Chelsea
Chelsea remain active in the transfer market and the Independent reported earlier this week that they will revive their bid for Fernando Llorente. Antonio Conte will want to make at least three signings before the transfer window closes and there is a long-standing interest in the Spanish striker. The Blues’ boss signed him for Juventus and views him as a perfect player to add competition to the squad.
Swansea City won’t want to sell their top scorer from last season, but they are getting closer to signing Wilfried Bony. This could change their stance on Llorente. The big stumbling block will be price as Chelsea want to make the signing for less than £20 million, but the Welsh club are hoping for more than that.
Given his age, the Swans have to consider a big bid as they are unlikely to get another opportunity to sell him. Despite his importance last season, he isn’t irreplaceable.
Would he be a good signing for Chelsea?
This would be a move that raises eyebrows among football supporters, but Conte is a coach that pays attention to detail and he will see Llorente as being the perfect player for his squad. The Spaniard has played at the highest level and wouldn’t be daunted by a move to Stamford Bridge.
His experience and success in England make him an attractive option for Chelsea. There would be little risk in signing him as he would be able to provide a good striking option when called upon.
It is known that Conte demands a lot from his players and expects them to carry out his instructions on the pitch. He wants to have players he can rely on, which is why Diego Costa has been banished from the first-team scene this season.
Llorente plays a style that would suit Chelsea’s style of play, as he works hard, runs the channels and possesses a goal threat. The Spaniard is dominant in the air and links up play well.
Where would he fit in?
There are already two good strikers at the club in Alvaro Morata and Michy Batshuayi, but neither have fully convinced Antonio Conte. This is why he wants to add a player he trusts to provide further competition. Llorente would likely be the second-choice striker and play a supporting role to Morata.
The Swansea striker is a vastly experienced player, who would provide a good example for Morata and give him the help he needs to transition to the English game. It will be a huge ask for the former Real Madrid player to become one of the leading strikers in the Premier League straight away. There will be bad runs of form and they will need another reliable striker during those periods.
It has become clear that Batshuayi isn’t suited to Conte’s style of play. He lacks the physical presence and doesn’t link up the play in the way that the striker in the chosen system needs to. The Belgian has huge potential, but it becoming difficult to see him fulfilling it in the current Chelsea team. Llorente is a more natural fit and if he signed, it would give the Blues an opportunity to loan out Batshuayi.