Chelsea is truly at their wits end over their tough luck in regards to Fernando Torres. Their record £50 million signing has never produced the goods and according to NESN on Nov. 27, 2012 the Spanish attacker remains on the fence as to whether or not his future is still remains at Stamford Bridge.
However, the signings of the Spanish hitman’s former Liverpool manager, Rafael Benitez throws an interesting twist into the mix, and proves at least some partial truths about where Roman Abramovich’s head is at over his highest priced asset to date.
Fernando Torres arrived in English football with a bang as he scored 33 goals in his debut season for Liverpool. He still holds the record for the most goals scored by a foreign player in the English Premier League during an initial season.
He remained one of the most deadly strikers in England and the world until his final year at Liverpool. Between changes in management from Rafael Benitez to Roy Hodgson and then Kenny Dalglish, Torres looked spent and his dip in form was sad to see.
A major move to Chelsea in the January transfer window of 2011 was thought to be his second coming as a chance to use a change of scenery and supporting personnel to help return himself to his goal plundering fortunes. The move is yet to have done so.
Instead of seeing his name back in the headlines for helping his team to victory with goals aplenty he is more often called out as nonexistent on the pitch and not clinical in front of goal and a traitor to fans that had adored him.
In his most recent weekend column featured in the Mirror, former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish mentioned that Torres had “already decided to leave Anfield,” before he took the reigns over from Roy Hogdson at the beginning of 2011. Additionally he mentioned that Torres seemed “out of love with his football.”
Dalglish also believes that Torres unfortunately was “partially to blame for the sacking,” of both Andre Villas-Boas and Roberto Di Matteo as the player that was brought in to ensure that manager’s got results at Chelsea has never hit the mark.
With Benitez now at Stamford Bridge he is expected to be the man to turn Torres around. The Spanish tactician was the man that had the faith to sign Torres at Liverpool and bring him to England in the first place. Torres repaid that faith by being one of the fastest players to 50 goals in Liverpool history at 72 appearances.
Abramovich’s hiring of Benitez for the next seven months proves that he is not likely to sell Torres in January. The likelihood of replacing him would be more difficult than in the summer, and most people that shell out £50 million on an investment of even human performance want to make sure they tried every last thing to keep it up and running before putting it out to pasture.
Another point that is proven is that the UEFA Champions League appears to be more important to the Russian billionaire than the English Premier League at the current moment. The loss to Juventus was truly the Andre Villas-Boas Napoli moment of Roberto Di Matteo’s reign and was truly unfortunate.
Roberto Di Matteo had proven that he could get the club through in the later stages as he planned better for the two legged ties last campaign. This year he had to learn how to navigate the group stages, and not matter what level of quality is on your team it is still all a matter of learning what your players are capable of.
It all now comes down to Benitez and ironically Torres. The due have to produce results. Benitez was hired because the club is in a spot in the UEFA Champions League, and as a leader that bested Chelsea on numerous occasions on European nights; Abramovich knows that the Spanish manager knows his stuff in Europe.
The next few weeks will be interesting to watch as the fan backlash against Benitez has already taken a strong stand and the boo-birds continue to greet Torres after almost every match. Can the former Liverpool duo turn the fortunes of the Blues to gold or are they both imposters longing for an Anfield return? Time will be the only telling factor as the congestion of December’s fixture schedule means that it is gut check time for them both.
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