Could Marcos Llorente be Thomas Tuchel’s first signing at Chelsea?

Varun Pai
By Varun Pai
4 Min Read

Chelsea and Thomas Tuchel have shocked most clubs in England & Europe as they currently sit 4th in the Premier League table, while they also have the 2nd leg of the Round of 16 in the Champions League against Atletico Madrid, something Chelsea will be going in with an advantage due to their 0-1 away victory against Atletico Madrid.

This is quite a feat given that Chelsea was 9th in the Premier League on 25th January, the day Frank Lampard was sacked. Thomas Tuchel was appointed a day later, and he has done an incredible job since he has come in as Chelsea head coach. Now that Tuchel has proved his caliber, there might be some transfer business that Tuchel might want to conduct in the summer.

Marcos Llorente could be one of the first names on the list. Llorente, now an Atletico Madrid starter, was previously a Real Madrid academy graduate while he also featured a couple of times for Real Madrid, but they never quite tapped his potential. Diego Simeone saw what others did not see and brought the Spaniard to the other side of Madrid.

He will always be remembered as the player who changed the complexion of the Round of 16 tie against Liverpool at Anfield, as the 26-year-old came off the bench and scored 2 emphatic goals as they sunk Liverpool at home, which was a very rare occurrence a year ago. But it is important to understand why Thomas Tuchel would be interested in the midfielder.

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Llorente has been Atletico’s best attacker this season, barring Luis Suarez and Joao Felix. The attacking midfielder already has 16 goal involvements in 25 appearances which is an unbelievable return, because nobody ever thought of using Marcos Llorente in his prime position i.e as a second striker. But it is also the versatility and dynamism of the 26-year-old that has caught Thomas Tuchel’s eye.

He has played as a right-winger, a second striker, in a 3-man midfield while he has also deputized in the wing-back position. This kind of flexibility is essential in at least one member of every squad as you can fill gaps almost instantaneously, for example- James Milner at Liverpool is a crucial part of their set-up due to the kind of flexibility he offers.

Marcos Llorente is highly adept in passing between the lines while his tackling is also second to none as the midfielder never shies away from going into a challenge, and more often than not, the Spaniard comes away with the ball. Being under Diego Simeone, Llorente’s defensive skills have taken to a new level and Tuchel would want such a player in his current Chelsea squad, as he would offer a completely different skill set to the rest of the marquee talent, they acquired last summer.

It has been reported that Atletico Madrid will demand something in the region of 69 million pounds for the Spanish midfielder, which, in this post-Covid period, seems incredibly hard to fork out unless it is a crucial transfer. Chelsea’s transfer plans are still a little blurry and there is still a long way go to before the transfer window opens, but if Thomas Tuchel does set his mind on Marcos Llorente, Atletico might just let him go if the right price is offered to them.

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