Leeds United

Leeds United: Conor McGilligan believes that the club should try to sign Fernando Llorente

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Image for Leeds United: Conor McGilligan believes that the club should try to sign Fernando Llorente

Leeds journalist Conor McGilligan believes that the club should try to sign Llorente as a free agent.

Even though the transfer window has closed, there is still the possibility for Leeds to add to their arsenal as they explore the market for players who have been released from their previous clubs.

Llorente is a player who made a name for himself at Athletic Bilbao, part of which included a spell under current boss Marcelo Bielsa, and enjoyed a somewhat successful spell in the Premier League with Swansea and Tottenham Hotspur, but has since seen his output decline in recent years, only scoring five goals in all competitions in the past two seasons across spells at Napoli and Udinese. In his entire career the Spaniard has produced 178 goals in 601 appearances.

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But speaking on the One Leeds Fan Channel as part of a wider discussion about free agents, McGilligan felt that he could be a good option for Leeds to bring in, giving a particular mention to the connection that the 35-year-old has with Bielsa as a reason why it could be an avenue for Leeds to explore:

“He’s 35 years of age, but a lot of clubs have still been interested in him. We were speaking about age a little bit earlier, but I think this guy’s the outlier. He’s worked under Bielsa before, he’s recently said as well, that he’d be happy to work under Marcelo Bielsa again, so it just shows that he’s still got that fight within him.

“Apparently ‘the utmost professional’, which was quoted by Marcelo Bielsa, said he was the utmost professional with his time at Bilbao, seems to keep himself at the top level pretty much every single year.

“Apparently, Inter Milan have already enquired about him this summer. So it is one of those things where: would he be able to come in and be that sort of backup option to Patrick Bamford?

“There’s clubs in Portugal as well apparently, Benfica and Sporting Lisbon in for him as well. Could Leeds throw their names into the hat?”

TIF Thoughts on Conor McGilligan’s comments about Llorente…

Would this be a good signing for Leeds to make?

Yes

Yes

No

No

It could certainly be argued that Leeds need another forward to add to the ranks and support Patrick Bamford, because the goal return for forwards behind him last year wasn’t all that great. Indeed, their second-highest goalscorer was the versatile Stuart Dallas.

And whilst his age might seem like a detractor, if McGilligan is right that he has kept himself in good shape – something that he’ll need to keep up with Bielsa’s notoriously tough style of play – then he might be able to slot into the Leeds setup easily.

His goal return might not have been the greatest in recent seasons, but given his at Leeds would likely be a backup, you wouldn’t expect him to be getting double digits once again at Elland Road, as just four or five goals across the course of the season to keep them ticking over will probably be enough to be considered a decent contribution.

So all things considered, it is certainly an option that they should be exploring.

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Freelance sports journalist & broadcaster.

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