LONDON, April 21 — Swansea City manager Paul Clement has defended his leading scorer Fernando Llorente after the striker was criticised following their 1-0 Premier League defeat at Watford last weekend.
Data showed Llorente had sprinted less than 20 metres at Vicarage Road during the 81 minutes he was at the ground.
Speaking on BBC’s Match of the Day, former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard singled him out following another lacklustre display from relegation-threatened Swansea that extended their winless run to six games.
“We do look at the stats and believe it or not that is 20 metres more than he (Llorente) has done in other games,” Clement told reporters.
“At Liverpool (in January) — where he scored twice — he sprinted zero metres, it was the same against Watford.
“That figure would not have been mentioned if we had won at Watford, or played differently.”
Clement said Llorente, who has 11 league goals this campaign, was not fully fit last weekend which had an impact on his performance.
“Fernando has come off the back of some good performances where he’s really made the difference,” Clement added.
“He wasn’t 100 per cent at Watford. He said after the game he didn’t feel at his best, and that’s obviously had an impact on the way he played.”
Swansea, who are currently 18th in the league, host 11th-placed Stoke City tomorrow. — Reuters