Llorente Eyes Arsenal Transfer – Report
Juventus striker Fernando Llorente wants to end his miserable spell in Turin by joining Arsenal in the January transfer window, claim The Express.
The 28-year-old Spaniard has played just seven games so far for the Old Lady since signing for them on a free transfer from Athletic Bilbao in the summer. In those seven outings, he has scored just twice, including the club’s sole strike in the 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid last night. When Giorgio Chiellini was red carded against Los Blancos, it was Llorente who was sacrificed by coach Antonio Conte despite the fact that his, not Carlos Tevez’s name, was on the scoresheet.
Traditionally, competition for midfield places in the Spanish national teams has always been high. But these days, their strikers’ slots are jam packed too. With players such as Fernando Torres, David Villa, Alvaro Negredo and Roberto Soldado all in good form for their respective clubs, it’s clear that Llorente would be the odd man out if his situation doesn’t improve at Juve.
It’s no secret that the Gunners are at least one centre-forward short and Llorente fits the bill. It’s believed that coach Arsene Wenger would be interested in a loan deal for him.
Llorente recently revealed how Real Madrid tried to sign him on several occasions in the past. He said: “Was there interest from Madrid? Yes, there was real interest. But in the end there was no agreement and nothing came out of it. How many times have they tried to sign me? A few times or so. When? The last was when I had a year to go on my contract, after the good year in the Europa League.”
Giroud Unconcerned by Dortmund Defeat
Olivier Giroud is sure that Arsenal’s 2-1 home defeat to Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday night was just a minor bump, and it wouldn’t affect their momentum at all.
The Gunners lost 2-1 courtesy of a late Robert Lewandowski volley. It was only the second time this season they were defeated, and while a streak-ending result could sometimes have a detrimental effect on a team’s performances, Giroud is confident no such thing would be happening here.
He said: “We lost (against Dortmund), but we have won almost every game – just (Aston) Villa and (a draw with) West Brom, so it is not the time to be really worried, but we want to come back Saturday and win the game.”
Giroud is Arsenal’s only top quality centre-forward, and he has played nearly every match so far this season. Some think too much reliance on him could result in a burnout, but the player himself isn’t worried about that either.
He added: “I feel good. Maybe I will have some rest next week, for the Capital One Cup, I will speak to the boss. Over the years I have got used to playing a lot of games and I am okay with my body. I don’t want to find a excuse.”
Dortmund Defeat ‘Not the End of the World’ – Wilshere
Jack Wilshere also believes that Arsenal FC cannot afford to dwell on their recent defeat to Borussia Dortmund and need to move on from that setback.
Urging the need to ‘bounce back straight away’, the Gunners midfielder said: “It is never nice to lose at home, but it is not the end of the world. We can’t let this result affect us now, especially in the Premier League where we are on a great run. It will be tough away at Palace, it always is, they will fight for every ball and it will be a different game from Dortmund, but we still have to bounce back straight away.”
About the team’s qualification prospects, he added: “We know what we have to do now. We aim to win every game, and it will be tough, but we have been to Dortmund before and were unlucky not to win on the night. We know we can go there to get something out of the game, and that is the aim.
“We will watch the game back as we always do and take a lot of positives out of it, we could have done better on their goal, but it was a great goal as they broke on us really quickly, with a good ball in and a great finish. But the good thing about this competition is you do not have to wait very long, in the next couple of weeks we will go out to Dortmund, and it will be all to play for.”
Ramsey Puts His Hand Up for Mistake
Aaron Ramsey has put his hand up to admit that his mistake allowed Borussia Dortmund to score the opening goal of the game against Arsenal on Tuesday.
The in-form Welshman – who had been flawless this season until now – conceded possession just outside his team’s penalty area and his error was duly punished by Henrikh Mkhitaryan, whose shot went past Wojciech Szczęsny into the back of the net.
Commenting on the game, Ramsey later told Arsenal.com: “A draw would have been a fair result after the way we played in the second half. I felt like we were in control of the game but then we switched off for 30 seconds, we were in their box and 30 seconds later the ball is in the back of our net.
“I was disappointed as well with the way they scored their first goal, I got caught on the ball and that was disappointing. We were a bit slow to start but I thought after about 25 minutes we got into the game, we got our goal and then we took that into the second half.
“We were in control of the game, we didn’t look like we were going to concede, but then we did. That’s what happens [when you switch off]. We showed good character getting back into game… and we created a few chances in the second half and hit the bar. On another night we may have taken the lead but we have to learn from the way we defended for the second goal.”
Del Piero Talks Ozil/Bale Transfer
Juventus great Alessandro Del Piero says it was imperative for Real Madrid to offload Mesut Ozil in order to gather funds for Gareth Bale’s world record transfer.
Implying that raising fund was the primary reason behind Ozil’s £42.5million move to the Emirates, the 38-year-old Italian – who now plies his trade in Australia for Sydney FC, told AS: “At first I was surprised they sold Ozil, but basically I think Madrid had to make that sacrifice so they could sign Gareth Bale. I love Ozil as a player, however, so I didn’t expect the club to sell such a talent.”
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