Athletic Bilbao striker Artiz Aduriz has leapt to the defence of his outcast colleague Fernando Llorente.
Spanish international Llorente has spent most of the campaign on the bench after refusing to sign a new contract with the Basque club last summer. He recently refused to appear at a Press conference, as his discontent regarding the dispute rose.
The man who has profited most from Llorente’s absence is Aduriz, who has taken his place in Marcelo Bielsa’s team and gone on to become the fourth top scorer in La Liga this season. But the former Valencia forward has sympathy for the plight of the man known as ‘The Lion King.’
“People talk about things that are nothing to do with the games or with football,” Aduriz is quoted as saying by AS.
“To focus on these things is not good for anyone, not for Fernando or for us. He’s the first one to want peace, the first one to want to talk about the team and focus on doing our work well. It benefits no one to talk about other things.”
Aduriz was substituted for Llorente during Saturday’s 5-1 loss to Barcelona at Camp Nou.