Arsenal were shown the value of a world-class striker on Tuesday when Robert Lewandowski snatched victory for Borussia Dortmund at the Emirates, which served to highlight the lack of options currently at Arsene Wenger’s disposal.
The Gunners were clearly the better side in the 2-1 defeat to Dortmund, yet they could not make their dominance pay.
Fernando Llorente has been previously linked, by the Daily Mirror, with a January loan move to support Olivier Giroud, and now, John Cross reports the Juventus star would be willing to make the switch:
Fernando Llorente is keen on a January move to Arsenal - to save his World Cup hopes.
Juventus striker Llorente is on the Gunners' hit-list of possible January deals to boost their squad and push for the Premier League title …
The 28-year-old Spain international is only now beginning to get a chance at the Turin giants following a summer move, and his advisers are concerned his World Cup chances may be affected if he is not a regular in Serie A.
Arsenal’s problem against Dortmund was not that they don’t have a top striker. Giroud is enjoying an excellent season, and he added to his tally with the equaliser in North London.
However, chasing the victory, Arsenal looked for new ways to penetrate a well-organised Dortmund defence, but Wenger was only able to change his options behind Giroud.
Santi Cazorla was introduced with little impact, while the much-maligned Nicklas Bendtner was the only striker Wenger could turn to in his hour of need.
Llorente would represent a fantastic January option for Arsenal, particularly if they could examine the player by taking him on loan.
Having excelled in Spain for years at Athletic Bilbao, Llorente has failed to adjust to Italian football at Juventus, scoring one goal in five appearances for the club this term.
Like Giroud, Llorente is a target man who can bring midfield runners like Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey into play, and he has a true eye for goal, having netted 29 in all competitions for Athletic in the 2011/12 season, per ESPN FC.
Spain have a terrific amount of strikers to choose from for the World Cup, including Alvaro Negredo, Roberto Soldado and Fernando Torres, so Llorente knows he must play regular football to book his place in Brazil.
For both parties, a loan move would make a great deal of sense, particularly if Arsenal want to avoid more frustrating nights like their defeat to Dortmund.