Why Arsenal or Tottenham Hotspur should sign Marcos Llorente
Over the last few years, Real Madrid’s academy has produced some of the finest players that are gracing the footballing world right now. Be it Alvaro Morata, Dani Carvajal, Lucas Vazquez or Mariano Diaz, the Blancos’ academy – La Fabrica – is like a factory, as its name means, that keeps on producing talents without cessation.
And another one of them is Marcos Llorente.
Llorente joined the fabled academy at the mere age of 13. He was promoted to the B team in 2014 as Zinedine Zidane took control of the Castilla. Llorente wasn’t a first choice under the Frenchman, however, as he preferred the more defensively-able Lucas Torro to the Euro U21 runner-up.
Nonetheless, he kept working hard and earned himself a loan move to Alaves last summer – and that was where his game was taken to another level.
Under the astute guidance of the magnificent Mauricio Pellegrino, Llorente kept improving. Not only were the creative midfielder’s attacking skills further enhanced, his defensive game improved almost unrealistically.
When asked about his strengths, Llorente quipped that "two years ago I thought I was more complete in attack, but this year I think it was in defence.” It is a stark reflection as to how his time at Alaves has moulded him into the player that he is now.
After the fine outing last season, many expected him to be kept by Real Madrid and provide competition to Casemiro in the holding midfield role. It was logical, especially given the fact that the Brazilian’s position is the only one that had no backup.
But according to some reports, Llorente might be on his way out with Sevilla being interested. Casemiro’s steady improvement means that chances will be hard to come by for the 22-year-old. He might have suggested Ceballos “to come to Real Madrid because I want the best to come to Real Madrid,” but it could turn out to be the reason for his exit.
And this is where Arsenal or Tottenham Hotspur should pounce
Last season was a perfect depiction of Marcos Llorente’s abilities as a footballer. The Spaniard is a confident passer while also being an assured defender. He guards the backline with tenacity while using guile to keep the tempo of his team ticking.
He is a complete package, one that is very hard to come by – and it is for this reason as to why Arsenal or Spurs should try to sign him.
Spurs might have an established midfield pairing in Mousa Dembele and Victor Wanyama, but the addition of Llorente not only gives them a tactical variance, but also a creative hub from deep. Mousa Dembele might be a good dribbler of the ball, but he doesn’t have the vision to make creative passes like Llorente does.
Meanwhile, Victor Wanyama is a rock in front of the defence, but Llorente reads the game so well that he is always at the right place to make a timely interception. His addition would also give Pochettino the opportunity to play a 3-man midfield with him and the current duo of the Belgian and the Kenyan.
His need at Arsenal is even more given that he would be the perfect complement to Granit Xhaka. A midfield pivot of Xhaka and Llorente would not only be defensively solid but also have the necessary creativity to provide Arsenal forwards with a lot of delightful chances.
Meanwhile, Elneny is a good player, but Arsenal could much better than him. Santi Cazorla is out injured for a while and with age catching up to him, it remains doubtful as to whether he could ever return to be the player that he once was.
Which is why the purchase of Marcos Llorente makes sense for the Gunners. There are certain players whose leadership improves a team’s attack and defence – and Llorente is that kind of a player. Given Arsenal’s tendency to leak goals, his presence would help the back-line greatly.
Regardless of who signs him, he would be a great addition for any team. Even if he stays at the Bernabeu, it would be a bonus for the Whites as they would have a proper backup to Casemiro, one who is actually better than the Brazilian in some aspects.
At Arsenal or Tottenham, however, his skills will be appreciated even more as they would turn the team into title-challengers – especially the latter. Spurs already have a great defence and attack, all they need is more creativity from deep midfield.
Playing a two-man midfield with one creative-only midfielder in it is a big risk, which is why the all-round abilities of Llorente would be a blessing for the Lilywhites. His nimbleness and diligence would make him a success in the Premier League – and under the tutelage of the other Mauricio, he could become a world class player.
Catch him while you can, North Londoners.