Fernando Torres: Chelsea’s number 9? Sounds weird doesn’t it? The kind of disbelieving feeling sets in when seeing an old flame in the street with another. When you look at Torres’s time at Anfield, and before that his time at Atletico Madrid, it may not be all that surprising to see him pulling this stunt. Although many fans may feel like ‘we’re a club on the up’ again, we’re not a club on the up until we can prove it at the end of the season.
When Torres left Atletico, he left to join a Champions League team that was on the verge of winning the league. Now, the comparisons between Liverpool and Atletico Madrid are clearer than ever. Two huge clubs with rich histories and lofty ambitions, but without the means to fully challenge the new order at the top of football. In Spain it’s Real Madrid and Barcelona, in England it’s Chelsea, Man United and now Manchester City. The spending power needed to overhaul such teams is astronomical.
There is another way, the slow evolution that we saw begin and then fade under Rafa, undermined by an interfering board. But that way takes years, and Fernando Torres doesn’t have years, he’ll know that.
As a player there is more to him than explosive pace, he does have a knack for positioning, but as he gets older injuries will eventually catch up to him and any player knows that their time on the pitch becomes more precious the older you get.
At just 26, you may feel he has his best years ahead, but players with such pace, and of his nature, often burn out sooner rather than later. Is Fernando the new Michael Owen? Maybe not. But his sale wouldn’t be the end of the world. As long as the money is invested properly and Kenny Dalglish, or any other manager gets to spend it, then the only real damage may be done in Liverpool’s shirt selling department.
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