Fernando Llorente Talks Choosing Tottenham Transfer over Chelsea Move

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistSeptember 14, 2017

Tottenham Hotspur's Spanish striker Fernando Llorente (L) vies with Borussia Dortmund's Greek defender Sokratis during the UEFA Champions League Group H football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium in London, on September 13, 2017.
Tottenham won the game 3-1. / AFP PHOTO / IKIMAGES / Ian KINGTON        (Photo credit should read IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images)
IAN KINGTON/Getty Images

Fernando Llorente has revealed that a phone call from manager Mauricio Pochettino "at the very last minute" convinced him to move to Tottenham Hotspur over Chelsea in the summer.

The Spanish forward was heavily linked with the Premier League champions but eventually joined Spurs from Swansea City on a two-year deal, and he has now explained that Pochettino was key in swaying his decision, per Miguel Delaney in The Independent:

"The truth is that Chelsea have been after me for a long time but at the end you know how this works. At the very last minute Pochettino called me and convinced me [to join Tottenham]. The Tottenham project is impressive. They have done very well in the last few years and I think I fit very well with this project. I think I can help them a lot. ...

"Pochettino was someone very important, without doubt. I knew him from when I was in Spain. There, in what is a nice story, I made my debut against him [for Athletic Bilbao against Espanyol] at San Mames. He was at the end of his career and I was at the start of mine."

Llorente is likely to play second fiddle to Harry Kane at Spurs but should prove to be a valuable and experienced back-up for the England international, who has been burdened with huge goalscoring responsibilities over the last three seasons in north London.

STRATFORD, ENGLAND - MAY 05: Vincent Janssen of Tottenham Hotspur during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur at London Stadium on May 5, 2017 in Stratford, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images)
Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

Vincent Janssen, 23, was bought by Spurs from AZ Alkmaar last summer to provide cover and competition for Kane, but he proved unable to step up to the challenge of the Premier League and is now on loan at Fenerbahce

In Llorente, Spurs have snapped up an experienced campaigner who has already proved he is cut out for the English top flight after netting 15 goals for Swansea last season, per WhoScored.com.

With Spurs hoping to compete on several domestic fronts and in the UEFA Champions League in 2017-18, the 32-year-old Spain international will likely be given plenty of game time.

In signing Llorente from under Chelsea's noses, Spurs could also have dealt a key blow to a Premier League rival.

The Blues brought in Alvaro Morata to replace the likely outgoing Diego Costa in the summer as their first-choice No. 9, but their attacking depth remains relatively weak—a problem that could have been solved by signing Llorente.   

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