This is not the news Swansea City fans wanted to hear.
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Fernando Llorente, 32, has fractured a bone in his lower arm and will require surgery.
Swansea’s leading goalscorer from last season — the Spaniard scored 15 goals in 33 appearances after arriving from Sevilla — injured his arm in a cycling accident while on a family vacation.
The Swans issued the following statement Thursday.
The 32-year-old suffered the accident while cycling on a family holiday, and despite it not being a serious break that requires an operation, it does mean the club will have to tailor his pre-season training accordingly.
The club remain optimistic that he will be available for selection for the first game of the Premier League season against Southampton on Saturday, August 12.
Paul Clement‘s side battled away from the Premier League relegation zone in the final weeks of the season in 2016-17, led by Llorente’s goals and Gylfi Sigurdsson‘s assists. With the former now injured and struggling to be fit for the season opener, plus Sigurdsson linked with big-money moves to Leicester and Everton, the Swans may have to dip into the transfer market to cover their bases. Jordan Ayew will be tasked with leading the line for the Swans throughout preseason and likely in the early weeks of the 2017-18 PL campaign.
Llorente’s aerial ability was particularly well-suited to the PL as Swansea made the most of Sigurdsson and others whipping in inviting crosses for him to finish. That led to Chelsea, coached by Llorente’s former boss at Juventus, Antonio Conte, trying to sign him during the January window, but Llorente stayed in South Wales and became a hero as he rescued them from relegation.
If he doesn’t return to fitness quickly and hit the ground running then Swansea could soon be in yet another relegation battle because his goals are vital if they’re going to kick on and solidify themselves in the PL.