Chelsea’s £50 million acquisition from Liverpool in 2011, Fernando Torres, has been the subject of constant disappointment as his cumulative performance over the last 2 seasons for the club has betrayed the exorbitant amount of money the Blues paid to prise him out of Anfield.
For such a hefty price tag, the expectations on Torres were to set the league on fire and help Chelsea win a host of trophies. But the way his first season unfolded with the Blues was the least imaginable to even the Liverpool supporters! A solitary goal in 18 matches was not the return on investment Roman Abramovich might have expected.
A subsequent full season with the Blues did not help matters as a meager output of 11 goals resulted in across 49 matches in all competitions, which, compounded with the Blues’ finish outside the top 4 in the league, increased the frustration levels over the Spaniard’s performances and when Di Matteo decided to bench him for the biggest match of the season – Champions League Finals against Bayern Munich – the decision did not go down well with Torres who termed it the “biggest disappointment in my life.”
Didier Drogba’s presence in the Chelsea lineup foiled the failure of Torres and many crucial goals from the Ivory Coast international were the club’s saving grace last season as Di Matteo lead them to a miraculous triumph in Germany which consequently ensured Champions League qualification despite a 6th place finish in the league.
The 2012-13 season saw extended periods of play without goals from Torres and even Rafa Benitez’s appointment as the interim coach did not completely help his cause. Torres has doubled his goal tally from the previous season but his form never reached the levels that made his name while he was with Atletico and Liverpool. Torres’ first league goal of the year in Chelsea’s last match of the season against Everton might have been his last for the club after rumours are abound that he might follow Benitez to Serie A.
Managers have come and gone during Torres’ stint at Stamford Bridge – from Ancelotti to Villas Boas, and Di Matteo to finally Rafa Benitez – but his funk refuses to leave him. For a player of Torres’s stature only a galore of goals and dominating performances will vindicate his worth and any other accomplishment will be diminished by the scoring drought. With Chelsea poised to make big signings again in the transfer season, it will be interesting to see if the club will decide to part ways with El Nino or give him one other opportunity to make a name in North London. Do you think Torres deserves another season with the Blues?