Chelsea

Fernando Torres’ Chelsea move cost him dearly

Fernando Torres’ Chelsea move cost him dearly

Fernando Torres finalised a 5-and-a-half-year contract with Chelsea in 2011 after scoring 65 goals in 102 appearances for rivals Liverpool.

The £50m transfer made him the sixth most expensive player in the world at the time, and most would have said the fee was reasonable. Torres became disillusioned at Liverpool when they sacked fellow countryman Rafa Benitez and sold midfield stars Javier Mascherano and Xabi Alonso.

Roy Hodgson’s Liverpool then finished seventh in the 2009/2010 season, and at 27-years-old nobody could blame the club’s top scorer for wanting to play Champions League football. The British transfer record was broken and Torres headed to the Champions at Stamford Bridge, which would ultimately turn out to be the worst move of his career.

In a team that included living legend Didier Drogba, the Spaniard would always find it difficult to cement himself as first choice striker, but nobody expected what was to come.

In a disappointing start, Torres made his debut during a 1-0 loss to Liverpool in February, and he had to wait until April 23 to net his first goal for the club and his first in 903 minutes.

This was to be the only goal he scored that season from 18 appearances, and the Chelsea fans began to grow impatient.

In his first full season, Torres failed to impress again, scoring only 11 goals in 49 appearances. A number of high-profile misses followed and heads quickly turned towards his price tag. In a tumultuous campaign for Chelsea, which including swapping young Andre Villas-Boas for Roberto Di Matteo, Torres scored just 11 times from 49 appearances.

His time in the spotlight did come as he sealed his side’s place in the Champions League semi-final by breaking away to round Barcelona’s Victor Valdez in the semi-final.

Those glimpses of his Anfield form came few and far between and without consistent minutes in the starting 11, the then 29-year-old struggled to build any consistency.

The 2012/13 season saw old boss Rafa Benitez appointed manager in November with one of the main reasons believed to be the hope he could return Torres to his former glory.

He subsequently ended an 11-hour goal drought against Nordsjaelland a month later and bagged two against Sunderland just three days after, but the run didn’t last.

He only scored one goal in the second half of the season and ended the campaign on 22 goals from 64 matches.

Patience in the 30-year-old had run out and more of the same in the 2013/14 season under Jose Mourinho led to a two-year loan move to AC Milan in August 2014.

One goal in 10 appearances somehow convinced Milan to sign Torres permanently, but he was quickly loaned out to former club Atletico where signs of the old Torres showed once more.

He failed to emulate his old form regularly enough and then signed for Sagan Tosu at the start of the 2018 season.

What would have happened if Torres stayed at Liverpool nobody will know, but moving to Chelsea and the pressure of a big price tag sent his career in a downward spiral.

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