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Swansea City bid for Nelson Oliveira – how does he compare to Fernando Llorente?

Swansea City are keen to sign a striker before the transfer deadline as a replacement for the outgoing Fernando Llorente. The Mail report that they are looking at Norwich City striker Nelson Oliveira and have made a £12 million offer for the 26-year-old. He did spend a short time on loan in South Wales in 2015, but he managed to score only once in ten matches.

Paul Clement believes that he can have a greater impact this time around after gaining more experience in England. Last season, he managed to score 11 goals for Norwich City, with one coming every 127.5 minutes. This is a good return in the Championship and there were signs that he is now ready to compete at a higher level.

Despite his future being the topic of speculation, Oliveira has started the season in good form with three goals in the first five matches. Swansea aren’t the only team interested, as Reading have been in the running to sign the Portuguese international.

How does he compare to Llorente?

Fernando Llorente has had more success at a higher level than Oliveira, but the Norwich striker is younger than the man he would replace at the Liberty Stadium. They play similar styles too, as the Portuguese international can compete in the air and hold up the ball for on-running midfielders. His link up play isn’t as accomplished, but he would be able to create chances in a Swansea attack.

The statistical comparison of the two strikers last season suggests that they were utilised in different roles. Oliveira was more goal-oriented as he created only 0.4 chances and attempted 3.81 shots per ninety minutes. Meanwhile, Llorente created 0.88 chances and attempted 1.81 shots per ninety minutes. The caveat to these are that the former was playing in a lower division and the spearhead of the joint-best attack. On the other hand, the Swansea striker was part of a team fighting relegation.

In terms of build-up play, Llorente was more impressive in the air as he won 53.41% of his aerial duels. This is significantly better than Oliveira, who won only 27.66% of his. This would be a concern for Swansea as they will look to be direct at times this season. The Championship is a more physical league, but this is a worrying statistic.

Would he be a good signing?

It would be difficult to see the transfer as anything other than a downgrade from Llorente. There is a reason the Spaniard is in line for a top-six club and it was a coup for Swansea to sign him last summer. Oliveira is improving and has started to emerge as one of the best strikers in the Championship. However, he has yet to prove himself in a top division and that makes him a huge risk. It could work out for the Swans if they did sign him, but he isn’t a guaranteed success.