As Chelsea edged increasingly close towards signing Fernando Torres from Liverpool, the decision wasn’t as straightforward for the fans, as it appeared to be for the club.

Fernando Torres is not worth £50m. He will soon be 27 and has a history of breaking down at alarming regularity. The club had burnt its fingers once, and should not go down that road again“, argued those who were against the move. “A player Chelsea fans have secretly yearned for ever since the Spaniard ended the Chelsea career of Tal Ben-Haim, before it had even taken off, in his first match for Liverpool on English soil. Each of the subsequent goals that El Niño scored against Chelsea only increased the respect and admiration the Blues had for him, even though his strikes, more often than not, led to a Chelsea defeat. After every loss, the distraught fans were struck with pangs of jealousy towards Liverpool. Now, the dream of seeing Fernando play for the team may become a reality and it’s too relishing to give up“, instantly retorted the other set of supporters. The club, essentially the owner, couldn’t resist the temptation either and Fernando Torres signed for Chelsea on the fateful day of 31st January, 2011.

They overlooked the fact that the player they were signing wasn’t the one they’d fallen in love with; they overlooked the fact that he had appeared a shadow of his dangerous self in months preceding the transfer, only to rise when Liverpool came face to face with Chelsea. On other occasions, in other matches, he appeared to have lost that sudden burst of pace that shattered the legacy of many seasoned defenders; he lacked self-belief and often drifted out of games. Moreover, his off the ball movement, ability to make devastating runs behind the backline appeared to be on the wane. Injuries and overuse had taken their toll, and it was then that Chelsea appeared with a truck full of money. Such was his aura, such is romance that it blinded everyone involved as they celebrated the biggest signing in the history of the West London club.

Today, twenty-two months later, it’s safe to say that the signing has turned out to be a failure of monumental proportions, but not entirely useless as it has helped reshape the transfer strategy at Chelsea. From signing superstars at the peak of their powers whose value only depreciated, those looking for a final substantial contract after already making a name for themselves to signing world-class young talent with high potential, hungry for success, hungrier to improve, those with at least two contracts in them, Chelsea’s strategy has undergone a paradigm shift.

Fernando Torres was signed on a five and a half year deal for £50m, with the player earning around £180,000 per week in salary. Over the course of the massive contract, the Spaniard will cost Chelsea close to £100m. As of today, he has drawn £20m in salary so the total cost on the books is £70m, with the club yet to spend £30m on the contract. If a club were to today offer say £15m for his services, in reality, the deal would relieve Chelsea of a burden in the region of £45m, and the club should jump at the offer. Frankly, it’s not just about the money.

Only thing that depicts that Fernando is a finisher, in most games, is the number 9 on the back of his shirt and not what he manages to do on the pitch. Three managers, at least three formations, and two distinctly different teams (players) haven’t managed to get the best out of the player. With Didier Drogba around, Chelsea predominantly played to his strengths, and to be fair, in such a setup Torres wasn’t a perfect fit. He couldn’t hold up the ball, play with his back to goal, wasn’t particularly strong in the air, and didn’t depend on his physical attributes to get past defenders. Previously, he relied on speed, on his movement to get behind the defenders, with intelligent balls being played through the middle, rather than crosses from the wings.

He did display flashes of his old previous self occasionally; the hattrick against Queens Park Rangers, the breathtaking shot against Sunderland that led to the only goal of the game, and the last goal at Camp Nou were reminiscent of his time at Liverpool. Yet, on the whole, he continued to appear a shadow of his former self. The fact that he wasn’t getting regular minutes on the pitch was considered to be the reason behind his lack of confidence, resulting in the abysmal form that he found himself in.

Once Didier Drogba departed, Chelsea announced that they believed in Torres and that he will be the first choice target-man come next season. With Drogba moving on, Chelsea too decided to reinvent their gameplay. Extremely intelligent, creative players such as Eden Hazard and Oscar, amongst others, were added to the squad, and they didn’t waste anytime in establishing a devastating attacking band alongside Juan Mata, behind Torres. Yet, Chelsea’s number 9 continues to struggle. He has scored more goals, but none when the club has actually needed him to step up and deliver.

Chelsea have got off to a fabulous start this season not because of Torres, but in spite of him. The players behind him exchange positions, spot movement of their teammates early, understand each other and deliver delightful, sometimes unbelievable, through balls in the final third. More often than not, Mata, Hazard and Oscar themselves are the ones making the runs to get to the end of these passes, and not Torres. He’s seldom in goal scoring positions, drifting either wide or deep with alarming regularity. With the kind of playmakers operating alongside him, all he has to do is finish the innumerable chances that they’re bound to create rather than try to play the role of creator himself. When he used to provide assists last season, it came as a relief as he was at least contributing to the team’s cause. That’s not required this season, with the kind of players Chelsea now have.

The need of the hour is a proper striker, a centre-forward who knows where the goal is, who backs himself to shoot at the right time, who can run with the ball for five yards without falling over or meekly losing possession, who can gauge the intent of players behind him and is confident enough to receive the ball in decisive areas, and most importantly, who can score goals in the most difficult of circumstances. Sadly, Fernando Torres isn’t that player anymore nor will he be that player again in his career. Chelsea have been very patient with him; the fans have left no stone unturned in supporting him, but a time has come for the club to accept the harsh truth that they made a mistake and end this unfortunate, horribly disappointing chapter.

It is said that hallmark of an astute businessman is his ability to know when to swallow his pride, cut losses and move on. An astute businessman, Roman Abramovich certainly is. A time has come for him to end this venture of his, howsoever desperately he may have wanted for it to  succeed. Chelsea would undoubtedly take a big hit, but the writing was always on the wall the moment signatures were put on the dotted line.

  • patrick

    Liverpool will take him back for £10m and make him good again cuz Torres’s power always came from the Anfield crowd something Chelsea can’t buy.

    • Harry boy

      Spot on mate. He drew great inspiration from us the fans. I think his move back to Liverpool would help him and Liverpool. His heart is set at merseyside.

      • Jay Wright

        Am I the only one that remembers all the talk of ‘his heart not being in it anymore’ as another excuse for his greatly declined performances during his final days at LFC??

    • Kel

      I’d take him back in a heartbeat.

  • Moses

    It will be rational to replace Torres with another good striker and sky will be chelsea’s starting point this season.

  • Chelsea should please cut its loss,thank God that our 3 playmakers are firing. Dimateo should note this that it seems,hazard cant play better without Mata,even Osca. We should please buy Willian in January,forget abt the fact he wont be playing champions league for us,but what of EPL and others? We really missed mata yesterday against Swansea that is why we need someone like him who can do same job he does. Dont forget that overuse will result to injury and tiredness. We also need a young talented striker not falcao with all due respect,he is no doubt a gud player but he is too costly what if he flop?another loss? Torres cant in anyway help us at all,he should go.

  • I have been making excuses for him in the past but now,i have lost my patience for him,i cant even excuse him again,he cant shoot he cant score,what is he doing as a striker then? He cant even position himself to score,am disgusted by Fernando,he should go pls cos he is not reliable and dependable for us,he cant help us when it doesnt mata and he can neva help when it matas.go pls am tired of your lazines

  • Tommy

    Fernando, oh Fernando, why did you have to leave, why did you think the grass was greener on the other side, clearly, Chelsea are not happy with you and visa versa, the problem as always been that Fernando needed to be loved, he was adored and loved at Anfield, by the fans and the players.

    He was never going to get that same affection and feeling at Stamford Bridge.

    It’s a shame but things have moved on, I wouldn’t take Torres back, even with the situation we find ourselves in, Torres jumped ship when we needed him, so now he needs loving again, but unfortunately Fernando, it’s not going to be at Anfield!!!!

  • Hajibest

    can someone pls advise RDM to make Moses our number 9. Becus Tores ryt now is the one that we use to no anymore.

  • Jarvis

    Torres took the passion of the Liverpool crowd for granted, and thought he could get that at Stamford Bridge. Unfortunately for him, it must have been crystal clear from the very first game against Liverpool that Chelsea are simply not that kind of club. Despite the trophies he has won without playing, how he must regret that move now. He would jump at the chance to go back, but Liverpool would never take him….

  • I suggest chelsea go for a stricker hungry for goals.(chicharito, dimiao, ) or even try moses at el nino’s position

  • Am tired of hw long is d club goin to giv hm chance?wat disgust me most is wen i hear Di matoe praisin hm..ds a sgn of hypocracy..if he cnt do d big job let hm lev it fr d big boys(coaches)..pep,mourinho n oda great coaches wnt watch hm plai ds wai n praise hm..nonsense!

  • We must sign willian..jst watch d game against swansea..just cos mata was nt around,oscar,hazzard played per ability..d reason simply bn dt,no body was roamin about to collect d ball n creat space fr dm..moses atimes dnt no were to go..his static as hes use to stickin far wide..u either plai hm weneva u need a winger,or convert hm 2 d strikin role..bcos he cn never partner oscar,hazard..dos guys ar beta suited wt mata..pls bring de brum frm bremen back if ure nt goin to sign willian..he cn plai same by calling fr d ball n openin games..morover hes faster n technicaly gifted..gud shots,gud crosss
    ,splits pass,dribling and strngth..wonder y chelsea shuld snd hm on loan..he’s a paul scholes on hs own

  • Zayaanbk

    Hes not what Chelsea really wanted, we wanted a Fernando who could fire every game and gets on to the finishing end!! But this man must somehow repay us, he must do a Shevchenko, because Torres has costed Chelsea 2 managers jobs and has forced Chelsea into a major reinforcement plan which isn’t helping him, but I say he should not leave for at least another year and Chelsea must somehow think about another alternative, to be true the time has come to buy a defensive playmaker like Vidal and try getting most out of him!!!

  • Let Torres face the stamford bridge exit door and lets’ look for at least two young matured and tellented strikers meanwhile not Facao.Let forget about big name player we need who can play now and tomorro.

  • Shivam Chaturvedi


  • uche

    am really feed up on torres.hes nolonger reliable.nw useless nd worthless.wat a shame on him.y cant RDM try marko-marin alongside oscar nd hasard.den try moses as a stricker.we can play witout a stricker just as spain did in euro 2012.

  • Nkume

    Pls. am fade up with Torres because he needs a serious pychological assistance. Pls RDM should put Voctor Moses as a striker.

  • Nagamora

    This article reiterates the notion flouting the football fraternity of late that Chelsea fans are whiners. Seriously, grow up already people. I have never seen fans of a football club anywhere in the whole wide world crib about their own players and take them to task. Your whining won’t change anything, will it? I hate to say this, being a Chelsea FC fan, but we need to learn a thing or two from them Manu fans, no matter how arrogant they are. These guys stick to their team and their players like glue in rain or shine. Stop hating on Torres! A point behind Manu at the league and tentatively close to grabbing a place in the knockout stage at the Champions League, but you choose to capitalise on a bad day at the pitch at Swansea and vent your frustration over Torres? Dude, with all due respect, this is football not cricket – it does not boil down to numbers and statistics. Get your collar on the field and wear some sportsmanship on your shirt. Stop misleading Blues fans around the country. Encourage them to instill the spirit of the game instead of conniving on armchair football philosophy on one the better strikers in the world. There will always be an Evans, and there will always be a Suarez too. And there will always be a Torres who stands taller than both of them together. Stick to football dude!


    we wish Tores to play at the 11 position while FALCAO Play 9.what i mean is that we need Falcao by all cost .We do not have any player to count onn for goals like man united will count on RVP AND ROONEY.TORRES IS A WASTE OF RESOURCES,PLEASE NEVER MAKE SUCH A BUYING MISTAKE