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Training ground bust up gives Arsenal big chance to sign striker

| 03.10.2012

Gervinho certainly seems a temporary cure to Arsenal’s need for a striker at present, but Arsene Wenger could find a more permanent solution in January if continuing his summer chase of Fernando Llorente.

Athletic Bilbao received a host of enquiries for the Spanish international in the summer, but remained firm in their stance that he would not be leaving for anything less than his minimum fee release clause, which is reportedly £28m.

The hope remains to encourage the striker to extend his deal beyond the end of this season, but a fall out with manager Manuel Bielsa is only diminishing the hope of an agreement being reached.

The latest reports from Spain state that the pair clashed on the training ground, with Llorente walking off with an hour of the session still remaining.

Rumour has it that Llorente was picked out for criticism in a team huddle and Bielsa was seen getting very animated with the striker, although it is unknown if anything was said back.

Llorente has fallen out of favour despite being the club’s star player last season and is still waiting for his first league start of the current campaign.

Arsenal were one of a host of Premier League clubs tracking Llorente in the summer and seem most in need of a striker now.

Olivier Giroud has failed to hit the ground running and Lukas Podolski’s direct nature means that he is a bigger asset on the left flank taking on defenders.

Gervinho has done an amicable job pushed into the central striker role, but his wastefulness in front of goal will cost them dear if continuing throughout the remainder of the season.

Llorente may be the answer to Arsenal’s lack of a prolific starter and netted 17 goals in La Liga for Bilbao in the last campaign.

All odds and markets correct as of publication



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.