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Saturday November 9 2013
Llorente to flower in Turin

After a difficult start to life in Italy, Alex Mott believes Fernando Llorente could make his mark at Juventus.

As a way of silencing the rumours, it was about as equivocal as it could get. After constant speculation surrounding Fernando Llorente’s future at Juventus, Bianconeri director Beppe Marotta insisted to Tuttosport on Thursday that the club would not cash in on the Bosman capture.

“The player is not for sale. He’s never been available. He will stay here with us. There is great faith in the boy and he is reaching his peak condition. We’re very happy with him and his progress.”

After a difficult start to the season with the Serie A champions, the Spanish striker seems to finally be hitting his stride for Antonio Conte’s men.

Following his move from Athletic Bilbao in the summer, the towering forward struggled initially to impose himself on the Old Lady’s XI, starting just four League games. Conte admitted to reporters in September that “Llorente has done well; he can do even better though and should continue to work.”  Just one League goal all term has seen the naysayers continually snipe at the 28-year-old, as his strike partner Carlos Tevez has hit the ground running.

Stories emerged in the Italian, British and Spanish Press that the forward could be jettisoned in January, with Arsenal said to be interested. A pair of fine performances against Real Madrid have seen the Roja international come back into Juve contention and show just why the Scudetto holders were so desperate to sign him from Los Leones in the first place.

Up against the likes of Pepe, Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane, Llorente showed his true class – upsetting the Liga giants with his movement, presence and aerial threat. His poachers’ instinct was in evidence at the Santiago Bernabeu, as he prodded in from close range after Iker Casillas parried away Paul Pogba’s header. Back in Turin, the attacker got the better of Varane in the air, and headed expertly past Casillas.

Those European goals could well be the turning point for the former Athletic man, as he slowly settles into life in Italy. “I normally take a bit of time to hit form and knew I’d have to work a great deal, also because I pretty much missed the whole of last season," the 28-year-old told the official Juventus website in October. "In addition, I needed to settle in and learn the language, and adapting to a new environment is never an easy task for anyone. I’m getting on great here and feel the manager has faith in me, but I know I need to keep working to get back into peak condition.”

With Llorente seemingly adjusting to life on the peninsula, and the Bianconeri getting back to the team that won consecutive Scudetti, we could be about to see a flowering of one of Europe’s best target men. 

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Have your say...
Is the time to shine el rey cos he is the type player juve needed
He can hold up the ball he is good on air too. Forza juvee sempre
on the 15th November, 2013 at 2:52pm
@ Mustaafaa And @ Anonymous,"cut it out now",let's not be Hasty there. Quags should start as point striker and Llorente support striker on left and Tevez on right side as a support striker.On a 4/3/3 formation it would be "AMAZINGLY AWESOME".Picture the firepower WHOAH!....
on the 14th November, 2013 at 10:16pm
The talk of who is better between Llorente or Quagliarella is kind of stupid. I like both. I do think Fabio offers a different set of qualities than Fernando, but being a Juve fan I would rather have four or 5 quality strikers that can each get 10-15 goals rather than one getting 20-25. I will say this though I think it would be interesting to see them as a strike pair. Not for every game, but just to see how they would play together.
on the 11th November, 2013 at 3:11pm
@mustafaaa : then quags injured his knee....never been the same since.....and the skyscraper scores again....point proven
on the 11th November, 2013 at 8:24am
@ Pinturicchio07 clearly? ok let's see: Quagliarella netted 9 times (in league only) in 17 appearances before the winter break in 2010-2011 season before he injured his knee, and he was in astonishing form and regularly picked to La Nazionale. And he could have doubled that number at least if he were to continue on. Now, he always delivers when called upon, and is in shape. I speak with facts, and you rant 'clearly' and nonsense. If you don't like me, that's fine with me.
on the 10th November, 2013 at 1:21pm
@ Mustafaaaaaaaaaaaa please man, you clearly know nothing about football or calcio it seems, and if you claim to be a Juventus fan, then you're the type of detrimental scum that real Juventus fans do not like.... Quag will always be a super-sub, so we desperately need Llorente to fire on all cylinders and deliver on his potential, with a 15-20 (in all 3 competitions) not being a bad start for "El Rey León".... Forza Juve, Forza Ale10 !! :)
on the 10th November, 2013 at 10:38am
@ Anonymous

I watched enough of him. Your skyscraper should go to MLS as they play with their bodies, not with their heads.
on the 10th November, 2013 at 10:37am
@ Ayoub

What's your definition of a TARGET MAN ?

I clearly stated that he could be useful sometimes, in which I meant in the air, in which is the only thing he's good at, not that good though. We're not talking about Trezeguet here. That's Speaking of things Quag don't have. But what Quag has and LL doesn't:

- Speed
- long-range efforts
- Versatility
- Possession
- Team worker
- Better in front of the goal

And that's what makes a target man for me.
on the 10th November, 2013 at 10:34am
Mustafaa you have never watched him play have you? Llorente will light it up very soon. Quagliarella is past his best and and not consistent enough. He should go to mls.
on the 10th November, 2013 at 5:15am
@Mustafa, Quagliarella is a great striker, but Llorente offers something Quags dont, and that something is called 'Aerial Threat', that's what 'Target Man' offers to the game, Quagliarella IS NOT a target man, as great as he is.

Saying that, I agree that Quagliarella should also see more games, but not as a starter, he's a type that could stun exhausted opponents with his long ranger so he's good coming from the bench.
on the 10th November, 2013 at 1:36am
I think the best formation for Juventus is a 4-3-3. The 3-5-2 is not a flawed formation, but when Juventus play with Asamoah at left wing and Isla on the right, the team lacks quality. If we play a 4-3-3 we could have Llorente in central attack, Tevez on the left, and either Giovinco, Quag or Vucinic on the right. We could even use Marchisio on the right, but sadly he is not the player he once was. He had been forced out of the centre by the amazing Vidal and Pogba.
on the 10th November, 2013 at 1:36am
"one of Europe’s best target men" Huh ? Are you high or something ? Why don't you Give me a break.

His stature could be useful sometimes, be he's average and nothing more. Quagliarella is the one who should start for Juve.

Media only are overrating this skyscraper because he is spanish.
on the 9th November, 2013 at 10:59pm
I think he will be the type of stirker who can get 15+ goals a season easy if he starts more or less every game. I think for strikers it is so important to be playing week in week out which is why i find it absurd Conte keeps chopping and changing even though he has enormous options available to him. But we have been missing this type of striker and have never ever replaced my favourite player (David Trezeguet). He used to play week after week and we all know what he achieved
on the 9th November, 2013 at 8:52pm

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