Juventus FC – Fernando Llorente Needs to Start Playing

Fernando Llorente

With Juventus playing in a two striker formation or something that’s very similar to it, it’s hard to understand why Fernando Llorente has seen only one minute of football so far this season, making way for small, quicker forwards, even though it might be better to try and combine the Spaniard with a different player in order to get the best out of both worlds.

It isn’t too shocking to see Juventus tumble in Denmark for a second straight season, as they met a rival that closed down defense very well, and did even better to handle Juventu’s insistence on giving up their passing game in favor of crosses (49!!!) and high balls beyond the defense. It did result in 27 shots at goal, but plenty of missed opportunities and frustrating moments against a team they should have easily beaten.

Even with Andrea Pirlo and Paul Pogba in the lineup, Juventus seemed to struggle moving the ball without interruptions from the Danish midfield, and it mostly a matter of breaking down the Danish defense, which didn’t happen. Copenhagen might be struggling in the league at the moment, but their a tall, physical side, that forced their style of play on the match, with Juventus unable to change it into something they’re more comfortable with.

Fabio Quagliarella did score an equalizer, and Juventus did test Johan Wiland a dozen more times, but with the team so intent on crossing the ball time and time again, the presence of Carlos Tevez and Fabio Quagliarella was something that didn’t fit the way Juve were trying to win this match.


Fernando Llorente barely played last season due to his conflict with the Athletic Bilbao board – the moment you leave or don’t want to sign a new contract, you get benched. So he is missing some serious match fitness. But only one minute in five matches so far? Juventus’ striker problems aren’t only about the name of the player up front. Carlos Tevez is a better forward than anyone playing for Juventus near the box last season, but he isn’t the complete striker, and neither is anyone else on the squad.

Using Llorente in a match that clearly called for some aerial help wasn’t so hard to notice. Still, Antonio Conte preferred giving his wing backs some rest and putting in Giovinco instead of Quagliarella in order to have another player who can dribble. The problem was he lacked a presence in the box for his midfielders and forward to play off of.

At his best, Llorente is an excellent target man. Not just fantastic in the air, but very good at holding up play and playing the pivot role. He isn’t a great passer like Vucinic is and like most tall players doesn’t possess the best of techniques, but he’s an excellent asset to any team, and especially one like Juventus who don’t keep the ball solely on the ground. Soon enough, if this amount of minutes for the Spaniard doesn’t grow, it won’t be surprising to hear him talking about wanting out.

Images: Source