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Hugo Lloris: Fernando Llorente can help Spurs hit new level in UCL

LONDON -- Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris says "great man" Fernando Llorente can help the club to meet expectations in the Champions League, starting against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.

Lloris has grown "a little bit frustrated" by Spurs' struggles in Europe and, in July, he called for them to "reach another level" in this season's Champions League, where they face holders Real Madrid and Cypriot champions Apoel Nicosia, as well as the German team, in the group stage.

Summer signing Llorente, who has won the World Cup and European Championship with Spain, as well as the Europa League with Sevilla, could make his 66th appearance in Europe against Dortmund.

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino has revealed that Lloris sent him a text about Llorente on deadline day reading "Wow, fantastic player," and the goalkeeper explained why he is so excited about the Spaniard.

"Did he say that, yeah?" Lloris laughed. "Yes [I did send the text] because he came from nowhere and Fernando Llorente is an experienced player -- he's going to bring a lot to a young team.

"Fernando is a great man. It's like he's been here for a while. He's very respectful and you can feel that he is here to be involved, to be a part of the team, to help the team reach something.

"Fernando Llorente and the other new players are going to bring a new edge to the squad, and this is what we needed. It's like a second wind.

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"Obviously it's never easy in July and August when you start competing and the market is still open. Now everything is perfect. We're thinking now about the Champions League."

Lloris said Spurs, who failed to qualify from the group stage last season, had "a lot of expectations" this time around.

"We failed together [last season] and we're going to reach another level together," he added. "We have a tough group, but it's really exciting for everyone to face Dortmund and Real Madrid.

"They belong to the best in Europe -- Madrid is the best team over the last two years. It's fantastic, but it's important to start well at Wembley against Dortmund."

Spurs have yet to win at the national stadium, their temporary home this season, after a defeat by Chelsea and a draw with Burnley.

But Lloris said he felt they had been unlucky and added: "We need to look forward, to move on with the right mentality and excitement to play again in the Champions League.

"We need to start well, to put in the right energy and not to think about that kind of stupid thing [their Wembley record]."

The Spurs captain said full-back Ben Davies could be key as he faces the twin threat of Lukasz Piszczek and Christian Pulisic on the Dortmund right.

"He's the kind of guy who is very quiet but he does a job. He's very consistent, he knows well the way we play and he understands perfectly well what the gaffer expects," Lloris added.

Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.


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