Veteran star wants to extend Tottenham stay for another year

Date published: Friday 3rd May 2019 12:50 - Robert McCarthy

Tottenham striker Fernando Llorente has revealed that he would like to extend his stay at the club by another year.

The 34-year-old frontman is out of contract this summer and at this stage, it is unclear whether the club will offer him a new deal.

The former Spain international joined Spurs from Swansea in 2017 but has seen his chances limited due to the incredible goalscoring feats of Harry Kane in north London.

Despite two separate injuries for the England skipper this season, Llorente has still only started five Premier League games – with Son Heung-Min often preferred in a central role in Kane’s absence.

Llorente, however, has revealed that he is more than happy with life in London and has adapted to his role with the team.

He said: “It’s something you have to adapt to. I am at a great club with incredible players, and in the end the manager has to make decisions, because only 11 players can play. It’s not easy for him and, with players of that quality, it’s not easy to get into the team.

“Internally, it’s a struggle. Because in the end what all players want is to play every Sunday, so every time you don’t, it’s a disappointment. But that’s also where you learn to be mentally strong and say, ‘Okay, I’m not playing but I have to keep working hard every day and I have to be ready every when the opportunity comes and the míster needs me.’

“That is the idea I always have in my head, but it’s also where it is most difficult, because the only way to really get up to speed is to play 90 minutes regularly. That’s particularly the case for me because of my attributes as a striker. I need to feel strong and be in the best physical condition possible in order to show my best.”

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Llorente also explained why he chose Spurs when leaving Swansea, as Chelsea were also keen on his signature.

“At that time I had spent a lot of time talking with Chelsea but they didn’t have an agreement with Swansea, whereas Tottenham came in and quickly found an agreement with them,” he recalled.

“That told me that Mauricio [Pochettino] and his team had a lot of belief in me, and when you are making a decision, that’s very important.

“The project excited me, and despite having a secondary role in the team, it has definitely been worth it. It has been a wonderful experience.

“In the majority of my previous clubs I was a regular starter, but I have learnt to experience it in another way. Trophies and games are won by all the players, not just the 11 who start. If something happens during the season and the squad players don’t keep fighting and don’t keep believing that they can be important, then you are in trouble.”

The former Atheltic Bilbao and Juventus forward also outlined his hopes for the short-term future, adding: “I would love to stay for another year, but the truth is I am not thinking much about that right now. I believe the important thing at the moment is the team, not for individual players to think about themselves.

“We are playing super-important games every few days. We have a very, very difficult match against Bournemouth, who are very strong at home – they beat Chelsea 4-0 there, remember – then it’s back to the Champions League. We have to be focused on the job. In a few weeks I’m sure there will be time to think about my future and see what’s best for everyone.”

Llorente could be leading the line again when Spurs head to Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday, looking for the three points that will guarantee them a prized Champions League spot for next season.

 

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