Arsenal Transfer News: Why Gunners Should Pursue Fernando Llorente

Stephen Sheehan@@StephenPSheehanCorrespondent IJanuary 8, 2013

Fernando Llorente deserves a starting spot.
Fernando Llorente deserves a starting spot.Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Arsenal may not be in the running for David Villa, but Arsène Wenger's club should be gunning for another superstar striker: Fernando Llorente. 

With an expiring contract and a dissipating relationship with Athletic Bilbao, the 27-year-old scoring machine should be highly sought after.

For a team in need of an offensive boost like the Gunners, they need to be first in line for Llorente. 

According to Alex Clarke of football.co.uk, as well as a talkSPORT report, Arsenal is one of a handful of clubs that should be in the running for the disgruntled star. Prior to this season, Llorente had been one of the most consistent scoring threats, but his 2012-2013 campaign has been anything but that. 

After a falling out with manager Marcelo Bielsa, Llorente has drawn just six starts and netted just two goals on 39 shots. 

It's been a precipitous fall for a player who's been the picture of consistency for the Lions. Since breaking into the starting lineup in '07, Llorente has averaged 14.6 goals per season in La Liga action, including 17 just a year ago. 

Adding a premier goal scorer like Llorente would be a welcomed addition for an Arsenal club that's struggled to replace the production of striker Robin van Persie. 

The Gunners' top striker transferred to Manchester United in August and left behind a sizable hole on offense. 

Van Persie and Cesc Fabregas were the only two players to net at least 15 goals for the Gunners in Premier League action since 2008, so bringing in a consistent threat like Llorente would do wonders for a team that's managed just 37 goals in 20 games. 

Llorente may not bring the scoring upside of Van Persie—who scored an incredible 30 goals in 37 Premier League games in his final season with the Gunners—but that's not what Wenger needs. 

Arsenal doesn't even have one double-digit scorer this season. 

Although Llorente is far off his career pace, a change of scenery and the support of a new coach should rejuvenate the soon-to-be 28-year-old's career and bring an offensive boost to a team in need of a No. 1 scorer.


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