Swansea’s search for a striker looks like it has come to a positive end with the news that they have concluded a deal with Sevilla for the signature of Fernando Llorente. The 31 year old will now fly to South Wales to take part in a medical before the deal can be completed.
Signing a forward has been top of Francesco Guidolin’s to do list this summer and with the departure of Bafetimbi Gomis, Eder and Albero Paloschi it would have been somewhat of a pressing concern especially with the Premier League season just over a week away. Fans of the club were quite vocal in the lack of new faces joining the club especially when missing out on the signature of former Swan Joe Allen to Stoke City but the signing of Llorente will no doubt go some way to appeasing the fanbase.
Llorente has won a World Cup and European Championship for Spain although he didn’t actually feature on the pitch during Spain’s Euro 2012 success due to the fatigue of a lengthy season at Athletic Bilbao under Marcelo Bielsa. After leaving hometown club Athletic he picked up two Serie A titles with Juventus although never really made a first team place his own in Turin.
What Swansea are getting though is a very decorated striker and at 31 will still be more than useful, the tall and powerful target man is a throwback to English centre forwards of old and you get the feeling that he will relish going up against Premier League defenders this season. There will be a lot of expectation on Llorente though, not just because of what he has done in the past but what Swansea require him to do this season.
After a slow start to last season, one that ultimately cost Garry Monk his job their fortunes were revived by the arrival of current Head Coach Francesco Guidolin. He then managed to steer Swansea away from the drop zone as they comfortably finished 12th but Guidolin knows that his current crop of players can’t afford to rest on the laurels of the last campaign otherwise they could be in for another tricking season. Guidolin would have no doubt given the squad a fresh impetus last season but now he has to sustain that over 38 games and the question is whether or not he has the squad in which to do so.
They certainly could do with a few more new faces but more importantly they need to keep hold of Ashley Williams. The 32 year old has been subject to interest from Everton and after his impressive Euro 2016 performances his list of admirers would have no doubt grown, if Swansea were to lose him then it would make a hard task even harder. Maybe the best bit of transfer business they do this summer is making sure he doesn’t leave the Liberty Stadium.