Once regarded as one of the best strikers in the world, Fernando Torres used to terrorise defenders when he was at Liverpool. However, since his mega transfer to Chelsea, he has really struggled to get going. Be it injuries or change of styles and managers, the Spaniard has been a disappointing misfit in Chelsea in the Barclay’s Premier League. Now Torres seems to have attracted interest from his former club Atletico Madrid and AS Monaco, who need back-up strikers. El Nino seems well settled in Chelsea and is in no hurry to move, especially as manager Jose Mourinho feels he needs Torres as a back-up for his team.
Torres is an experienced professional
Last season, he was faced with the task of competing with Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba as Lukaku ran away from competition and asked for a loan deal. He wasn’t playing the regular attacking role for the club like he did in 2012-13 where he was unchallenged for the striker’s position, yet failing to be above average despite scoring 23 goals and being the club’s top scorer.
But despite that, Torres accepted the role he was offered in the club and fought for his position. Many could argue that this is because he is paid a huge salary, which he collects without contributing as much as he should do. The argument fails when we consider rumours from Monaco because they are a club who need superstars to add face value to their club and wouldn’t mind paying huge salaries. His experience of playing in the big games and his work ethic does make him a good squad member to have in the club.
Drogba as a back-up striker can be detrimental
The rumours have been strong of legendary Drogba joining the club as a substitute striker and a coach. The coaching role can be fine considering Chelsea need to groom young Lukaku so as to make him the beast that Drogba once was. But considering Chelsea’s strike force, which consists of Costa, Lukaku and Torres currently would have Drogba instead of Torres, hence meaning Chelsea would be left with three big target men with similar styles of play. Back-up strikers are generally those who are chosen when the first choice struggles in a match. When three similar strikers are there in the team, the scope for tactical changes becomes very low as Drogba and Lukaku who would offer back-up to Costa would have predictable movement and style.
Torres despite his struggles has learnt how to gel with the attacking midfielders and turning provider to his wingmen. He can bring some variety to Chelsea especially if we consider that he still looks good on the pitch when he plays with his national team, meaning he still has quality to play in a club like Chelsea.
Torres is only an EPL Flop
Fernando Torres’ alarming decline of form is only visible in his Premier League matches as he still manages to poach goals in European games. It is a pattern we all saw in his three seasons in Chelsea as he scored regularly in UCL games, like a top quality poacher unlike his disappointing Premier League form. Torres likes the space behind the opposition defence so that he can make penetrating runs into the box. Such type of space is available in European competitions as teams look to press higher and attack, unlike in EPL where the teams are defensive against Chelsea, especially man marking Torres who plays as a loan striker.
Torres was Chelsea’s talisman in their successful 2012-13 Europa League campaign as he was their top scorer and looked really sharp scoring 6 goals in 9 appearances, only 2 less than his entire league tally spanning over thirty appearances. He is the third highest goalscorer for Chelsea in European competitions till date, something which says volumes on his consistency in cup competitions. Keeping him as a backup especially for the UCL can be a good move as Chelsea would have a proven UCL performer and a player who loves playing the competition.
Chelsea should use Torres as a squad player. He has experience, has some quality still left which can be put to good use in the European games and shares good chemistry with new playmaker Cesc Fabregas. Elsewhere, Patrick Bamford is still very raw and can develop into a pure out and out striker who can offer variation to Chelsea’s targetmen. Chelsea do afford to keep a player for rotational role and his professionalism means that he is ready to play second or even third fiddle to Costa and still play his heart out for the Blues.