Spurs striker reveals crucial Pochettino call

Tottenham Hotspur

Fernando Llorente says a last-minute call from Mauricio Pochettino persuaded him to join Tottenham Hotspur on transfer deadline day.

Chelsea were thought to be vying for the Spaniard’s signature prior to the shock Spurs swoop, but the 32-year-old has revealed Pochettino played a major part in making his mind up.

“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],” said Llorente, who made his first appearance for Tottenham on Wednesday night after coming on as a 87th-minute substitute in the 3-1 win over Dortmund.

“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.

“I’m very happy because at the end everything came out perfect. Tottenham are an amazing club with a wonderful project and I think I fit in very well. I want to put my contribution on it and hopefully I can score many goals to help the club to achieve their targets.

“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.

“Later, he was manager of Espanyol and I was an Athletic player, and we competed against each other various other times. Now I’m at his service for Spurs, and I really want to give him my best.”