Chelsea have forced into striker crisis after Jose Mourinho saw Fernando Torres end his European night at Romania after featuring for just 11 minutes against Steaua Bucharest.
The Europa league winners have three players to lead their attack, which includes the likes of Torres, summer signing Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba. The latter has fallen down the Portuguese boss’ pecking order, thus restricting his appearances under Chelsea’s new manager.
The Blues sent Romelu Lukaku on a season-long loan to Everton on the deadline day and the Belgium has already impressed during the Toffess 3-2 win over Newcastle United. The 20-year-old was involved in all three goals scored for his side, scoring twice and assisting the other.
The Spain international limped off after his brilliant performance during Chelsea’s 1-1 draw against Andre Villas-Boas’ Tottenham Hotspur. Many believed Torres is back to his Liverpool form, for which the west London club paid a British record transfer fee of £50m to bring him to Stamford Bridge.
For the first time in his Chelsea career, the former Liverpool striker has shown credentials to hit top form. However, his joy is likely to be short lived after being substituted by Eto’o during the Europa League winners’ 4-0 win over the Romanian champions.
After the match Mourinho said that the doctors have confirmed that Torres’ injury is not as serious as it looked earlier. However, Chelsea and the former Real Madrid manager will be sweating on the Spaniard’s scan results.
Torres is ineligible to feature during Chelsea’s Premier League tie against Norwich City on October 6. The Spaniard will face his one match suspension after picking up a red against the Blues tie against the White Hart Lane club.
Chelsea play Cardiff City on October 19 after the international break and Mourinho would be hoping that Torres will be fit enough to feature against the Wales side. Should the Spanish striker be on the sidelines for a longer period, it will be a major blow to the west London club.
The situation could leave Eto’o as the first choice striker, with Ba being second fiddle to him or vice-versa. Should the Portuguese tactician give a chance to the former Newcastle United man to start in Torres’ absence, it will be the only and the last chance for him to prove his worth at the Bridge.
Failure to shine if given a chance could see Ba’s Chelsea career end before the next summer and Chelsea could offload him in the January transfer window. Else the player could out in a transfer request to leave the club.
Irrespective of what could happen on Torres’ injury, Mourinho decision to allow Lukaku leave on loan was a mistake and hopefully either Eto’o or Ba step up in the former Liverpool man’s absence.