Swansea looking for Spaniard to become offensive anchor

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Swansea to finish in top half this season

It’s clear from the names linked with Swansea over the summer that the Welsh club have been after a particular type of striker to lead their line this coming season.

Leonardo Ulloa, Peter Crouch and Fernando Llorente all offer an aerial presence in their play that the Swans lacked last term. According to the latest reports, it’s the latter that will arrive to give Francesco Guidolin such an option.

Sky Sports say the 31-year-old is an imminent arrival at the Liberty Stadium. It’s one that is sorely needed too, after the club let Eder, Alberto Paloschi and Bafetimbi Gomis walk this off-season.

Of the club’s strikers last term only Eder, who played just 269 minutes, won three or more aerial battles per 90 minutes. Llorente has only dipped below that number twice in his last seven league campaigns.

Clearly then, Swansea will be getting a physical presence to play off should the Pamplona native arrive as expected.

That should allow others like Gylfi Sigurdsson, Andre Ayew, Wayne Routledge and Leroy Fer to swarm around him and should the former pair in that list a lot more sights at goal.

A regular net-finder himself for boyhood club Athletic Bilbao between 2007 and 2012, Llorente secured a big move to Juventus three summers ago after scoring 118 goals in 333 all-competition games for Los Leones.

The Turin giants won two Serie A titles with the Spaniard playing regular minutes, as the 24-cap international contributed 23 goals in that time.

Last season, having fallen down the club’s pecking order, Llorente returned to his homeland with Sevilla and notched seven strikes in all competitions.

The arrival of new manager Jorge Sampaoli has cast doubts over the striker’s future at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan and Swansea look poised to capitalise.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.