Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images
Spurs open the knockout stage of their UEFA Champions League campaign in a round-of-16 clash in Turin on Tuesday, and Llorente said he misses his Juve days prior to the clash, per Darren Lewis of football.london:
“Juve is a difficult place to leave. I left the Vinovo training ground crying.
“It’s also true what David Trezeguet said: ‘It’s only when you leave Juventus that you realise what you had.’ I miss it like crazy and would love to return.
“It’s a special club because, despite being an enormous club, it’s like a family inside. There is a fine image of Juventus here and I raise it even more: I always speak very highly of the Bianconeri and give them a good rep.”
The 32-year-old moved to north London from Swansea City last summer for a reported £12 million fee but was linked with moves away from Spurs in January, with Chelsea particularly interested, per Goal’s Nizaar Kinsella:
Nizaar Kinsella @NizaarKinsella
Llorente is staying at Spurs, by the way, but I am sure you already guessed that. He was seriously considered by Chelsea. #THFC #CFC
It was Blues manager Antonio Conte who brought Llorente to the Old Lady in 2013, and he won back-to-back Serie A titles in two years with the Bianconeri before leaving for Sevilla in August 2015.
His status at Tottenham has been further reduced to a bit-part role, however, and blogger Chris Miller recently suggested it would be some time before he displaces star striker Harry Kane:
Chris Miller @WindyCOYS
So far in his Spurs career Llorente has been closer to Rasiak than Berbatov.
Llorente has started in only eight of his 25 Tottenham appearances and won’t be expected to have a major impact at his former stomping ground on Tuesday, with Kane in a hot streak of form.
Despite his relatively low status among the Spurs ranks, however, Llorente holds a place of purpose under manager Mauricio Pochettino, per Alasdair Gold of football.london:
Alasdair Gold @AlasdairGold
Poch on Llorente Chelsea talk: “That’s another rumour. Fernando is our player. I don’t know nothing about that. I cannot speak about rumours. He played the last game against Newport. He’s a player in the squad, like different players. He’s in our plans.” https://t.co/uRgJRV99S4
Juve’s current attack comprises the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic, which is arguably an even tougher nut to crack than what’s ahead of him at Wembley at present.