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Dublin: 2 °C Wednesday 16 January, 2019
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'I would like to go back' - Out-of-favour Spurs striker could be set for Bilbao return

Fernando Llorente has suggested he is frustrated by a lack of game time at Tottenham.

Fernando Llorente (file pic).
Fernando Llorente (file pic).

FERNANDO LLORENTE WANTS a return to Athletic Bilbao after failing to make an impact at Tottenham.

The Spanish striker moved from Swansea to White Hart Lane in summer of 2017 for £13.5 million, but has scored just once in 17 Premier League appearances — all but one from bench.

Harry Kane’s dominant position as Spurs’ main goalscorer has meant limited opportunity for the 33-year-old, and he has spoken openly of his desire to move to the club where he was a big favourite between 2005 and 2013.

“I would like to go back to Athletic. My priority is to feel important in the team,” he told Cadena SER.

“If I have the opportunity and can talk to them, for me, yes, I would like to go back.”

Llorente is contracted to Tottenham until June 2019 with the club having the option of a 12-month extension.

But while he has clearly set his sights on leaving in the January transfer window, the veteran forward acknowledges his future is dependent on an Athletic aproach and Spurs chairman Daniel Levy agreeing a move.

He added: “Leaving in the winter market does not depend on me, Athletic would have to talk to Tottenham and Levy.”

Manager Mauricio Pochettino left Llorente out of his squad for Saturday’s Premier League win over Leicester.

Even with Kane resting on the bench, the Spurs boss went with a strikeforce of Lucas Moura and Heung-Min Son and named rarely used French winger Georges-Kevin Nkoudou among the Spurs substitutes.

Llorente did make it off the bench for the Champions League draw with Barcelona on Tuesday, in which Spurs sealed their passage to the next round.

He spent two seasons in Serie A with Juventus, winning two titles, and a year with Sevilla, as well as his time with Swansea after leaving Bilbao.

Llorente was also a member of Spain’s victorious 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 squads.

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