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Chelsea Transfers: Is It Finally The Time To Sell The £50m Man And Move On?

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Does he still deserve a place in the squad?
Does he still deserve a place in the squad?

Football has become a business. As with all businesses, when an asset becomes devalued, there the easiest option is to get rid of it the first chance you get. Chelsea currently find themselves in a similar situation with a certain Fernando Torres, a player for whom they paid a British transfer record of £50m in January 2011. They find themselves holding on to a potentially toxic asset that seems like a loser with every passing day, and they are keen to wash their hands off him.

The easiest option for Chelsea to remove Torres’ inflated wages off the books is to admit that they made a bad call and make him a part of any deal that brings in a quality striker in the summer. Given the Financial Fair Play regulations being imposed by UEFA, getting Torres’ wages off the books looks like a good option.

Image Source: transfermarkt.com
Image Source: transfermarkt.com

The deal most likely to happen is that Torres will be offered to former club Atletico Madrid as a makeweight for the deal to sign Diego Costa in the summer. While it has its positives, and the player himself might welcome a move back to where it all started for him, it might not be the best option for Chelsea – in footballing terms, despite what the numbers suggest, it might be a bad move to make.

The numbers certainly aren’t in Torres’ favor – during his time at Stamford Bridge he has managed to score only 43 goals in 159 appearances. That is even less than a goal every three games – certainly not a strike rate expected of a top striker, and most definitely not what is expected of a £50m investment. However, the numbers only reveal a part of the story.

Torres has had injury problems throughout his time at the Bridge and just when he seemed to be getting back to form, wither he picked up an injury or got himself a suspension. He has hardly had the rub of the green, and as the numbers suggest, hasn’t done enough on a consistent basis. However, the one thing he has done is score some big goals in his three years in London.

Torres goal against Barcelona (Img Src: themetonline.co.uk)
Torres against Barcelona (Img Src: themetonline.co.uk)

He scored in the second leg of the Champions League semi-finals against Barcelona in 2011 to take Chelsea to the final where they won on penalties. He scored in the Europa League final in 2012 to help Chelsea win the title apart from scoring in both the quarter final and the semifinal. Most recently, he scored a crucial away goal in the Champions League tie against Galatasaray.

The Spaniard may be having an extended run of poor form but his class is there to see. He has been unlucky, having hit the woodwork numerous times, and even missed sitters. The one thing that is still there is his eye for goal, his ability to terrorize defenses and his willingness to be selfless when required- just like when he played in Andre Schurrle with a wonderfully weighted through ball for his hattrick.

Torres needs confidence to thrive
Torres needs confidence to thrive

All Torres needs is a manager who shows faith in him and trusts him to do the job by giving him an extended run of games. Jose Mourinho’s constant chopping and changing in terms of choosing his striker means that Torres is hardly ever going to get a run of games – just the thing he needs to regain his confidence and form.

If that faith is not available at Chelsea, Torres would benefit from a move to a place where he is valued, when he is not under the constant pressure of a huge price tag hanging over his head like a guillotine. Perhaps a move back to his native Spain might not be the worst move from a career stand point, as would a manager willing to back him to the hilt and feed him with the confidence that seems to have left him right now.

If that does happen, Chelsea might rue the fact that they let go of one of the best strikers the Premier League has seen simply because they failed to persevere with him.