Fernando Llorente plays a very physical style of football which will pay off in the Premier League. The English top-flight is notorious for being a very physically demanding league and a player of Llorente’s stature will benefit Manchester United throughout the season. Despite having a poor goal-scoring record – seven goals in 31 league appearances for Juventus – Llorente also likes to play with his back to goal and hold up the ball, benefitting Louis van Gaal’s tactics in creating more goal-scoring opportunities. With the likes of Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney and new signing Memphis Depay looking for a quick one-two to break the defence and have a quick chance at goal, Llorente wold be the perfect striker to provide that kind of service.
Any footballer that is good with headers and stands at 6ft 5ins will be a threat in attacking set-pieces and good in defence when defending deadball situations, particularly corners. Previously, this responsibility was held by Robin van Persie but with the Dutchman now departed for Fenerbahce, United will need to buy a like-for-like striker in order to fulfil attacking and defensive duties too. With Llorente being a physical type of player, it will remove pressure from the defence when defending from corners and also cause problems for the opposition with his threat in the air. His presence will be enough for the opposition to worry about and help increase United’s goal tally from set-pieces – only 15 last season in comparison to 16 (2013/14) and 26 (2012/13).
Llorente would also be a brilliant player to help encourage the youth players to fight for their place in the first-team at Old Trafford. Llorente made his name at Athletic Bilbao, a team that is well-known for only signing and training players from the Basque country, and was at the club since he was 11-years-old and he moved to Juventus in 2013. His time at San Mames as a youngster and breaking into the first-team will no doubt be a factor for youngsters at United to respect and learn from in order to impress Van Gaal. It is no secret that Van Gaal wants to bring the youth into the first-team squad as part of his footballing philosophy. Last season, United fans saw the centre-halves Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair enter the first-team line-up as well as striker James Wilson. The 19-year-old striker plays a similar style of play to that of Llorente and would therefore be a perfect role model for Wilson. Llorente’s footballing CV, which includes last season’s Champions League final, Seria A titles and a World Cup winner’s medal, would be something that any young, up-and-coming, footballer would love to work alongside and learn from. Wilson, who made 17 appearances for the Red Devils last season, will be hoping to be a first-team regular in the near future and having a Llorente as a role model to work with would be the perfect formula for the young Englishman.
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