In a strange move, Chelsea are reportedly attempting a loan swoop for Swansea City striker Fernando Llorente in an exchange deal with their summer recruit Michy Batshuayi. As per Gianluca Di Marzio, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is keen to bring the 31-year-old to Stamford Bridge.
Swansea are in no condition to let go of players after a disastrous start to their season, which is forcing the Blues to offer the Belgian forward to push the deal. Although Fernando Llorente hasn’t set the Premier League on fire since his arrival at Swansea City, Conte worked with him during his spell at Juventus when they won the Serie A title in 2014, and he is attempting to rework the magic.
Batshuayi clearly hasn’t established himself under Conte’s tactics as he is yet to start a Premier League game this season since his £33 million arrival from Marseille last summer. Llorente, on the other hand, has scored six goals in 17 Premier League appearances for Swansea this season.
Although there is no doubt Batshuayi would be far more effective than Llorente up front given his age and vibrancy, Conte is clearly looking at his utilisation of the striker. Llorente has a shot accuracy of 60% and a passing accuracy of 69% and Conte will definitely like to deploy him as a secondary striker or even a backup.
Llorente could be a perfect choice for Chelsea, as he is happy to start from the bench as he advances towards retirement, unlike Batshuayi who has been quite vocal about featuring in the starting line-up.
It could be a welcome move for both the sides. Swansea haven’t had a quality forward up front with both Borja Baston and Fernando Llorente struggling to consistently find the back of the net. With Batshuayi coming in, new boss Paul Clement will definitely be having a quality option who could provide the right finish to the chances created by the likes of Leroy Fer and Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Swansea lost out against Hull City in the FA Cup third round and Clement can now fully focus on the Premier League and would need an extraordinary display in the second half to get out of the relegation zone and survive the drop this season.
Chelsea, on the other hand, will look to get another winning run going after their 13-match winning streak was halted by Tottenham Hotspur last time out. Antonio Conte’s side are five points ahead of Liverpool at the moment and they face Arsenal, Leicester and Liverpool in the next few fixtures. Conte will be needing good backups to survive the high-octane rush.