Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson simply must launch raid for Tottenham’s Fernando Llorente

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson simply must launch raid for Tottenham’s Fernando Llorente

According to a recent report from The Daily Mail, Fernando Llorente’s future at Tottenham is far from certain heading into the remainder of the January transfer window. The 33-year-old made the move to the Premier League club back in the summer of 2017 after impressing at Swansea City, but struggles for regular football under manager Mauricio Pochettino has called his future in North London into question.

And reports suggest that Spanish giants Barcelona are considering a move for the Spaniard in a bid to bolster their own striking ranks, as should Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson as he eyes the missing piece in his side’s survival jigsaw.

The Breakdown

Ultimately, it’s pretty clear that the Londoners have a serious problem in the final third of the pitch, what with the Eagles having netted on just 20 occasions in their 22 Premier League games this season, only one of which has come from the club’s pool of strikers.

In fact, Luka Milivojevic is the club’s top goal-scorer this season with six of which five have been penalties, thus underlining just how much of a struggle it has been for Palace to put the ball in the back of the net – even Wilfried Zaha, comfortably the club’s best player, has found the going tough this term with only three goals to his name.

And while the return of Christian Benteke from injury last weekend in the 2-1 defeat to Watford will come as a huge boost to manager Hodgson, the sanctioning of Alexander Sorloth’s loan move to Gent leaves the former England boss even shorter in the attacking ranks – yet a move for Llorente would go some way to bolstering that department.

The Spain international may well be reaching the twilight of his career at the age of 33, but one mustn’t forget the role he played in keeping Swansea City in the Premier League just a matter of years ago, with the striker bagging 15 goals in 33 league games to help the Swans stave off relegation.

That season, the former Athletic Bilbao and Juventus forward struck up a wonderful partnership with Gylfi Sigurdsson in regularly getting on the end of the Icelandic star’s crosses and corners, while he also produced moments of brilliance in the penalty area to help fire the South Wales outfit to safety.

And with the plethora of attacking options at Hodgson’s disposal at Selhurst Park, namely Zaha and Andros Townsend, there’s no reason why the same couldn’t happen with Llorente at Palace – he carries a genuine threat in the final third of the field.

Yes, Llorente hasn’t exactly pulled up any trees during his time at Tottenham in the last 18 months, netting just one Premier League goal for the club since 2017, but with aerial presence and intelligence in the forward role, he appears to be exactly what Palace need to pull clear of the bottom three, with that gap currently just four points.

And with the Spaniard’s future far from certain at Spurs, Hodgson must be ready to raid the London club for the 33-year-old’s signature, whose arrival would go some way to giving the 71-year-old the missing piece in his Palace survival jigsaw.

Palace and Tottenham fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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