Udinese striker Fernando Llorente believes that Inter are the favourites to go on to win the Serie A title this season, whilst also sympathising with midfielder Christian Eriksen after his early struggles.
The Spaniard won three consecutive league titles with Juventus between 2013 and 2016, the first of which came under current Inter coach Antonio Conte, whilst also spent two seasons at Tottenham Hotspur alongside Eriksen.
With Inter currently six points clear at the top of the table, Llorente argued that the title was theirs to lose and Conte was an important factor in this, as they sought to end Juventus’ streak of nine league titles.
“Inter have a great advantage and knowing how Conte is, I think it will be difficult for them to fail now,” the 36-year-old claimed in an interview published in today’s newspaper edition of Tuttosport.
“There are still many games to be played though and the title race is still open. Dominating Serie A for nine years is something incredible and I believe it’s unrepeatable. As for the end of the cycle, I would wait before declaring it. I know that environment well, never write Juve off.
“Andrea [Pirlo] is leading Juventus in a period of change. Despite the difficulties, everyone is very happy with him. I often hear from [Alvaro] Morata and other former teammates as well. Even if the results are not as he hoped, everyone says good things about Pirlo and the players are happy with him.”
Midfielder Eriksen endured a difficult 12 months after signing from Spurs in January 2020, but has returned to form recently to play an important role in Inter’s title push. Llorente conceded that he too had struggled at first in Serie A but had maintained confidence in his former teammate.
“I didn’t understand his form and it seemed strange to me because I know that Christian is a great player. Not that Eriksen is a protagonist, everything seems normal again to me. Although now that I think about it, I too struggled at first in Italy under Conte,” he continued.
Meanwhile, Inter have been linked with a move for Llorente’s Udinese captain Rodrigo De Paul and the striker was full of praise for the Argentine.
“Rodrigo is fantastic and seen up close he is even better than I expected. He has a lot of quality and would suit any top club in the world. But he is fine here and I hope we hold on to him tightly,” Llorente concluded.