The expected signing of Eden Hazard should be sweet music to the ears of Fernando Torres.
After a torrid 18 months at Stamford Bridge, the shape of the new squad being moulded by Roman Abramovich appears to be geared towards exploiting the Spaniard’s strengths.
Didier Drogba, the man barring the way to first choice striker for Torres, confirmed his departure last week after eight years with the Blues.
Supposed Belgian starlet Romelu Lukaku has been left as the only other designated centre forward with Torres and, if his form last season is anything to go by, will be unlikely to oust the latter as assumed first choice in the lone role.
Torres admitted that he and Abramovich had a conversation where the Oligarch owner assured the Spain striker he had a future at the club and that the Russian billionaire has complete trust in his record signing.
“I had a conversation with the owner of Chelsea and he trusts me. His confidence is total and that is what I needed to keep fighting and continue to be essential for the team,” said the 28-year-old.
Reports claim Porto forward Hulk is another singing close to being completed and the Brazilian’s style is as such that he would be utilised in wider positions, rather than through the middle and so would not become a challenger to Torres for the advanced role.
Young Germany international Marko Marin was another addition earlier in the summer and continues the recent theme in Chelsea signings of young, nimble and diminutive providers.
Juan Mata last season may have been a last minute gazump of Arsenal, but he preceded the January acquisition of Kevin de Bruyne from Genk – another wide player of smaller stature.
The Belgian is expected to go out on loan for a season before joining up with his new team, but there is a pattern emerging with the signings they are making and it suggests a side geared towards providing Torres with the ball.
It has been much stated, but the man they call ‘El Nino’ was at his best for Liverpool when the set up of the side was geared towards getting him the ball in the right areas.
He flourished in that environment and produced some of the most blistering attacking play around Europe, wreaking havoc on Premier League defences.
This has not been the case since his transfer south and his former Anfield teammate Pepe Reina thought the way he was being treated was at the root of his poor form and lack of goals.
"I don't think Chelsea as a club delivered for him,” claimed the Spanish international goalkeeper before the FA Cup final earlier this month.
“We built a team for Fernando here at Liverpool. Along with Stevie [Gerrard], Fernando was our star player. We had no problems admitting that. He deserved that and he earned that credit.
“I'm not sure it's like that at Chelsea. Fernando has always performed at his best when he has been at the heart of the team.”
The heart of the side that won the FA Cup and Champions League was undoubtedly Drogba, and the Ivorian’s presence could have added to the severity of the doldrums Torres had found himself in.
New creative signings and, as yet, no sign of a replacement for Drogba, should give Torres the comfort he needs to feel safe in his position at the club.
The recent past has led many to write off the former Atletico Madrid captain as a busted flush, but it is not unusual for good players to find themselves in a bad patch that, at the time, seems inescapable.
Certain methods of club management employed by Abramovich are rightly criticised, but the placating of Torres should not be one of them.
Despite their phenomenal cup success last season, Chelsea’s league form plainly indicted the current squad was creaking and possibly even living off the fat of past glories – something needed to change and Abramovich had proved in the past he is not shy of doing so.
After Drogba’s emotional departure announcement, it was reported that Salomon Kalou and Jose Bosingwa were next in line to walk away form the club following the expiry of their respective contracts.
It is unlikely that this duo will be the last names to continue their careers elsewhere, the current crop of players is littered by those whose contributions could be rated as negligible.
The torrent of bad feeling from Liverpool supporters towards their former idol, along with providing some schadenfreude for many neutrals because the £50million man was contributing in a manner that suggested his worth to be a fraction of that sum, has caused many to forget just how devastating s force Torres could be.
Drogba was as big a character as you are likely to get at a club and Torres appeared to pale next to him, but the former was at home in surroundings unfamiliar to the new arrival.
The talismanic figure of Chelsea’s historic season has left a space for a new hero to emerge.
Rediscovering the Torres of old could well be the most beneficial outcome of Chelsea’s summer of spend.
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