Should Spurs have done more to keep Llorente?
Tottenham are not expecting Fernando Llorente to return to the club, but do they need another striker?
Llorente became a free agent when his contract came to an end earlier this summer but the club did not announce his departure.
Instead, Spurs offered the Spanish striker a new one-year deal, albeit on reduced terms, and it is thought that offer remains on the table.
Tottenham aren’t expecting the 34-year-old to sign the new deal however, and Llorente is understood to have a few suitors still battling for his signature.
The forward is believed to be keen on a return to his homeland but Serie A seems a more likely destination than La Liga at this stage, with Fiorentina and Lazio among his admirers.
The World Cup winner did manage 20 Premier League appearances for Tottenham last season but only six of those were starts, and even when Harry Kane was sidelined at the end of the campaign he still struggled to force his way into the first XI.
Llorente managed just eight goals in 35 appearances in all competitions last term, although he arguably scored THE most important goal of Tottenham’s campaign in the Champions League quarter-final against Manchester City.
— UEFA #SuperCup (@ChampionsLeague) April 17, 2019
The Spaniard may not have been a regular but his departure does leave Kane as the only out-and-out centre forward in the Tottenham squad. It is perhaps surprising manager Mauricio Pochettino didn’t bring in a new striker during the summer transfer window, having failed to snare Paulo Dybala from Juventus, but he still has plenty of options in attack including some of his summer buys.
Son Hueng-min filled the void in the central role during Kane’s absence last term and the South Korean impressed. This season Son should be even more productive as last year his campaign was interrupted by the Asian Cup, which saw him miss around a month.
Lucas Moura can also play as a striker even if he is more effective in the wide roles, while Erik Lamela also provides a threat going forward.
Tottenham handed several opportunities to youngster Troy Parrott during the pre-season campaign and the teenager could be thrown into the squad for the cup competitions.
Summer recruit Ryan Sessegnon provides further competition in attack and Spurs’ current options do look strong even if Kane is likely to shoulder much of the goal scoring burden, particularly in the early stages of the season.
Tottenham may opt to splash out on a new striker in the January window but allowing Llorente to leave doesn’t appear to be a mistake, as he would almost certainly have been at the bottom of the pecking order this term.