In terms of the worst value-for-money signings of the Premier League era, Chelsea’s £50 million acquisition of Fernando Torres from Liverpool in January 2011 is hard to beat.
In 110 league matches for the Blues, Torres scored a hugely disappointing 20 goals. He never scored more than eight league goals for the west London outfit during his three-and-a-half years at Stamford Bridge.
Sure, Torres left Chelsea with FA Cup, Europa League and Champions League winners’ medals, but there’s absolutely no doubt that he flopped badly after leaving Anfield.
Torres’s dramatic fall from grace was like nothing we’d ever seen before.
Just a couple of years earlier, the Spaniard was widely regarded as one of the very best centre-forwards on the planet. He netted 65 goals in 102 league appearances for Liverpool, whose supporters were devastated when the striker decided he wanted to quit the club midway through the 2010-11 campaign.
For one reason or another, though, Torres ended up looking a shadow of his former self at the Bridge.
So poor were his performances that it was often joked he’d been cursed by scorned Liverpool supporters.
Psychologist offered to 'fix' Torres in six hours
However, it’s now been revealed that top sports psychologist Phil Johnson, who has worked with the likes of Radamel Falcao, offered to ‘fix’ Torres in just six hours.
He wrote to the west London outfit to offer his services but received a rather blunt response.
"When you're traumatised, it's not just mental, it's physiological and it actually blocks your performance because your brain doesn't allow you to resolve the problem," Johnson told Goal.
"For example, when I saw Fernando Torres struggling at Chelsea after his £50 million move from Liverpool in 2010, I wrote to Chelsea and said: 'Torres has been traumatised by his transfer. But I can fix it in about six hours.'
"They wrote back, saying: 'Phil, we have a psychological programme for our players and we'll stick to that. Thanks.'
"I replied: 'It won't work.'"
Johnson was spot on.
Torres continued to struggle
Torres continued to struggle before being offloaded to AC Milan on a two-year loan in August 2014.
The World Cup winner then signed a permanent deal with the Rossoneri several months later before completing a dream return (on loan) to his beloved Atletico Madrid just days later.
Torres, who went on to rejoin Atleti on a permanent basis, has rediscovered his form and confidence at the Vicente Calderon.
However, he’s still light years away from the prolific forward who took the Premier League by storm in the late 2000s.
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