Transfer Rumors 2012 – Arsenal Targeting Fernando Llorente

Fernando Llorente isn’t planning on staying with Athletic Bilbao much longer, his contract running out at the end of the season. This means there’s a very good chance that the Basque club will be forced to sell him in January, and Arsenal look like very likely buyers because of their financial situation and the need for a striker.

Llorente has appeared in only three matches for the club so far this season, coming off the bench each time, receiving quite a lot of jeers and boos from the Blibao fans. Llorente refused to play earlier this season, when there was still hope he might be shipped to a different club, just like Javi Martinez was sold for €40 million to Bayern Munich.

Arsenal have about £50 million to spend if they want, being the most profitable football club in the world, but Arsene Wenger constantly speaks against over spending, even referring to Manchester City as a symbol of everything that is wrong with the football world.

Wenger does spend money, but only what he can afford, and selling players like Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie and Samir Nasri has created quite a surplus, along with other streams of revenue. Arsenal have been busy in the offseason, bringing in Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla for nearly £40 million combined, but it doesn’t mean they’re out of money to spend, and if they’re going to spend at all.

Llorente has already scored this season for Bilbao, adding to to his four consecutive La Liga campaigns with at least 11 goals, currently making him the most prolific Spanish striker available, along with Roberto Soldado who hasn’t had the best of starts to the season. He isn’t the perfect example of the modern forward, but you can’t argue with numbers when it comes to strikers, who’s first job is to produce goals.

Arsenal have so far been disappointed from their offensive output from their attackers, except for Lukas Podolski, with the crticism mainly aimed at Olivier Giroud. The 25 year old French player arrived from Montpellier after leading Ligue 1 in goals last season. That hasn’t helped him in his Premier League venture so far, failing to score a goal or actually impress anyone with his play, looking a bit out of his league at the moment. Maybe he just needs time, but more and more people think he just isn’t up to par with what’s expected from a forward at this level.

Without a productive scorer, Arsenal won’t be able to win the Premier League title, up for grabs. Fernando Llorente, who by all accounts seems to be playing in his final months for Bilbao, might be a great option to lead the Gunners attack.

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