Sevilla striker Fernando Llorente celebrates scoring against Molde.
After a raft of offensive departures which saw Bafetimbi Gomis loaned out to Marseille and European Championship winner Eder leaving for Lille, it will come as welcome news.
This transfer comes as a relief from what has been a summer of departures at Swansea. Now that the deal is done, minds will begin to turn to what he will bring to the Premier League’s only Welsh representative.
First and foremost, he is an exceptionally experienced player. At 31 years old, Llorente boasts an impressive repertoire in football. Llorente has accumulated over 350 senior caps for a number of different sides. The majority of his career has been spent in Spain with Athletic Bilbao where he racked up over 250 appearances for the Basque side. He also has 24 caps with Spain and was part of the World Cup winning squad of 2010 and the triumphant European Championship team of 2012.
Judging from last season, an experienced striker is exactly what the Welsh side need. Bafetimbi Gomis was in good form at the beginning of last season but lost his way as the Welsh side struggled. Eder, too, was guilty of not taking his chances of the Portuguese striker struggled before being sold to Lille while Alberto Paloschi secured a move to Serie A Atalanta after he too found things difficult in the Premier League. Perhaps then, a striker with over 350 senior caps can provide an experienced and cool head up-front for Swansea.
Llorente is also a player who is not new to the big occasion and winning silverware. The forward won three consecutive Serie A titles with Juventus between 2013-2016, while he was a runner up in the Champions League in the 2014/15 season. It means he is likely to bring a winning mentality to Swansea, one which they will hope can help them emulate their League Cup success of 2013.
Sevilla's Coke, Diogo Figueiras (C) and Fernando Llorente (R) during training
Along with his experience, Llorente will bring a huge presence in the box. Standing at six feet and five inches, the Spaniard is able to use his enormous frame to dominate aerially in the box. He is also an adept finisher when presented with the chance. Swansea will also benefit from his quick feet and his use of different tricks and flicks to go with his ability to hold the ball up and allow his teammates to move into space beyond him.
Llorente may have to change his style of play slightly due to the style of Swansea’s build up. They are renowned for keeping the ball and patiently waiting for an opening. They do not tend to cross the ball into the box all too often either, with their wide players often cutting inside and fashioning shooting chances for themselves or others. Llorente then may have to be patient with his new team’s style of play which could see him having to drop outside of the box in order to receive the ball at his feet. However, this should not be a problem for such an experienced player that is fully equipped with the strength and size to do exactly that.
Juventus' Fernando Llorente (L-R) celebrates with his teammates Kwadwo Asamoah and Stephan Lichtsteiner after scoring against Palermo
What Llorente cannot prepare himself for is the pace and physicality of the Premier League. Famously, Roberto Soldado found himself out of his depth at Tottenham with the Spanish striker struggling for goals and form. However, Llorente seems to hold all the desired abilities for a successful striker in the Premier League.
Irrespective of all the speculation about how he will do, Swansea must be careful this transfer window. There have been rumours that West Ham are lining up a bid for Andre Ayew which would leave Llorente as the lone forward in the team. This is dangerous as he has no prior Premier League experience and so, if things do not work out for the forward, Swansea will be left in a dire situation needing to find goals from somewhere else in the team. Therefore, it may prove a very savvy piece of business if the Swans are able to bring in another, lower profile striker that already has experience of playing in the Premier League, which would provide Llorente with the cover he might need.
Juventus' Fernando Llorente (L) celebrates with his team mate Giorgio Chiellini