Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Llorente eager for sea-change at Swansea

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 7 Aug 2016

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After making his debut in Swansea City’s friendly against Rennes, new signing Fernando Llorente is relishing a change of environment in the Premier League.

The 31-year-old Spanish forward completed his transfer from Sevilla prior to Saturday’s 1-0 win, signing a two-year deal with Swansea, and he is hoping it can bolster his chances of a call-up from new Spain coach Julen Lopetegui.

“This team wanted me a lot and I want to be here. I want to play in the Premier League and know the Premier League. This [Swansea] is a good team to play in, in the Premier League,” he said post-match after completing 58 minutes on the weekend.

Llorente has scored seven goals in 24 appearances for Spain, but has not featured since his omission from the 2014 World Cup squad.

Alvaro Morata and Paco Alcacer were Vicente del Bosque’s favoured striking options during the Euro 2016 qualification phase, but Llorente believes forcing Lopetegui’s hand will only come from goalscoring form in the Premier League.

“I would like to get back into the national side, and I know that I will need to play well for Swansea all season if I want to do that,” he said.

“I would like to return to play for Spain, it would be a very special thing for me.”

Following two years in Turin with Juventus, his transfer to Sevilla was admittedly a disappointment, scoring seven goals in 38 appearances.

Playing alongside fellow Spaniards in Jordi Amat and Angel Rangel, Llorente hopes to now emulate another of his compatriots, Michu, at the Liberty Stadium.

“I am very happy to have Jordi and Angel here who can help me a lot. This team is very important for me. I need to work hard because I have not played for a few months and this is the important thing, to work and work and work in training to make sure I play very well,” Llorente said.

“My year in Sevilla was not very good for me, but now I want to change this situation and score more goals for Swansea, and show my best performance like I did with Athletic Bilbao and Juventus.

“I would like to score a lot of goals like Michu. He has done very well here and I need to hard if I am to perform like him.”

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