As preseason training enters full speed, all eyes are on Aresenal captain Robin van Persie, who surprisingly announced he will not renew his contract with the club. Arsenal is determined for him to see his final year out, but van Persie has said he wants out during the summer transfer window.
So as the transfer saga continues, the Gunners are beginning to throw out names as possible replacements for their captain. One player in the conversation is Spanish forward Fernando Llorente. If RVP were to depart over the summer, Arsenal would need an immediate go-to forward up front, and Llorente fits this description.
According to the Daily Mail, the 27-year-old Athletic Bilbao striker has a £28 million release clause written into his contract. Manager Arsene Wenger would use the £20 million or more from van Persie's sale in his attempt to lure Llorente.
The Athletic Bilbao striker would certainly fill van Persie's attacking presence. He is well over six feet tall and offers physical attributes that would allow him to thrive in the English Premier League. He takes up space and can out-jump anyone in the air and has incredible leg strength to drive the ball into the back of the net or across the field.
He has great speed and footwork to find the open areas and get behind defenses. He also has great vision to setup his teammates for scoring opportunities. Llorente showed signs of leadership for Athletic Bilbao, which would be an essential carryover if he were to come to Emirates.
Truth be told, no one player in the world could replace Robin van Persie and what he brought and meant to Arsenal. If the Gunners find themselves having to do it though, at least the addition of Fernando Llorente would be as if RVP never physically left the field.