Chelsea’s £50m forward Fernando Torres has been anything but a revelation during his year and a bit at the Bridge. The question now is do Chelsea cut their losses and offload the striker for a cut price during the summer and will there be any takers?
There can be no argument that the former UEFA European Championships winner looks a shadow of his former self, the former explosive, deadly finisher now looks slow and lethargic. Is it a case of Torres playing poorly, the team not playing to his strengths, a loss of confidence or is he under-motivated?
I believe it is most likely a mixture of all these problems which has culminated in the fall from grace of one of footballs greatest ever strikers.
Lets look at the points, firstly, Torres playing poorly. I believe there are aspects of his game which are not at the standard they should be for a player of his ability. His touch seems heavy, his dribbling ability has declined, and most notably his finishing is poor.
With that in mind however, he has shown glimpses in all his Chelsea starts of a return to form, showing some nice touches, completing mazy runs like against Manchester United at Old Trafford, and he has been the victim of some bad luck and great goalkeeping when in front of goal.
The two which spring to mind are the bicycle kick against the crossbar and the Edwin Van Der Sar save from his header last season. His all round game is no worse or better than that of Didier Drogba, the difference being Drogba is not feeling the pressure to score every match.
The team not playing to his strengths for me is a major issue here. When you consider his success it came at Athletico and Liverpool where the team and style was built around him. Chelsea plays a slow build up and rarely forward quickly which is what Torres feeds off.
There was a moment during the FA Cup match last night which summed this up perfectly, Torres dribbled down the left hand side and played the ball inside the Ramires and wanted the return pass, instead Ramires took a touch, turned and played the ball back. A decision which prompted Torres to react angrily and in frustration.
Loss of confidence and under-motivated are the conventional explanations for his sudden loss of form. I do believe Fernando is not brimming with confidence but no striker would be during a drought like his. I do not believe he is so low in confidence that his poor performances are all affected by it.
Watching Torres the other night he does seem under-motivated, perhaps even frustrated, every game he doesn’t score that is all the papers write about. They look at nothing but his goal scoring, last night he won alot of headers to set up attacks, he linked up well with Mata, he won the penalty, and he should have claimed another assist when he played in a delightful cross for Sturridge who fluffed his lines from six yards. If Drogba had played and done all the same things people would say he played well despite not scoring.
Lastly, a striker is only as good as the service he gets. Who can honestly say Chelsea are creating a hat-full of chances for Torres or anyone else for that matter. Generally Torres comes off the pitch having had perhaps one or two clear cut opportunities and most of the time only having half chances.
Torres, the team, and all the managers he has played under at Chelsea are to blame for this lack of form, Torres for not playing to his potential, the team for not creating the opportunities, and the managers as Torres is yet to play under a manager who believes in him enough to build the team around him.
Should Chelsea sell Fernando Torres?
In my opinion, no they should not. If Chelsea brought in a manager who made him number one choice up front and built the team around him I have no doubt the Chelsea fans would once again see the real Fernando Torres.
Could Chelsea sell Torres?
If Chelsea was willing to let him go for around £20m then I have no doubt Mr. Abramovich would be inundated with calls from all round Europe. Mark my words, if Chelsea decide to cash in and Torres leaves for a club that really want him Chelsea fans will be left wondering in a years time, why did we let him go?
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