Will Fernando Torres ever return to top form?
Chelsea opinion: Fernando Torres is past his best & will never return to form of old
When Chelsea signed Fernando Torres for £50 million many would have expected him to make a huge impact, deciding matches or even titles.
Even without the price tag Liverpool slapped on him in January 2011, Torres was recognised as a goal machine and a world class talent.
Having started out in his home country of Spain, Torres played for Athletico Madrid and bagged an impressive 75 goals in 174 appearances in Spain's Primera Division, quickly establishing himself as a world class goal-getter and held in high esteem across the footballing world.
Eventually he was signed by Liverpool in 2007 for a fee of £20 million.
At Liverpool, Fernando played possibly some of the best football of his career scoring his first goal in front of the Kop a week after his Liverpool debut and his first season saw him snatch 33 goals in 46 appearances.
Fernando set a new record for the most prolific foreign goalscorer in a debut season in England, eclipsing Ruud van Nistelrooy's 23 goals.
Torres spent a total of three and a half seasons at Anfield making a total of 142 appearances in all competitions scoring 81 goals.
Teams up and down the country would have dreaded facing Liverpool and Torres with his strength, blistering pace, aerial ability and goal getting talent, a true world class striker.
Half way through the 2010-11 season, Fernando Torres smashed the record British transfer fee when he moved from Liverpool to London side Chelsea for a staggering £50 million.
When you look at his previous performances for both Atletico and Liverpool you could almost justify the price tag and Chelsea fans would have been over the moon with the signing.
His debut for Chelsea saw his former team win 1-0 which I'm sure was an omen of things to come, although Torres got a goal or two at his new club, he wasn't scoring as often as everyone knew he could.
Maybe it was just going to take time for him to settle? Well, time is what he took as he then went 24 games, 903 minutes, without a goal.
He ended his drought against West Ham United and continued to go from game-to-game grabbing a goal or two although his link up play was good at times, Torres was a shadow of his former self in front of goal.
During his goal drought, Fernando missed a wide open goal against Manchester United and this miss seemed to sum up his recent form as previously he would have buried it blindfolded.
Torres got the goal that knocked Barcelona out of the Champions League in the semi-final in 2012 and played a part in the final which they won.
He gets plenty of game time at Chelsea but is unrecognisable compared to the player he was at his previous clubs and this season he endured a run of eleven hours without a goal, just incredible for a player of his ability.
However it's not been all bad as Torres entered the history books this season, becoming the first player to score in seven different competitions in one season after scoring against Steaua Bucharest in the Europa League and so far this season is Chelsea's top scorer with 18 goals and has 31 goals so far for the club.
Although the player has come out and admitted he's not playing at his best you have to wonder if after three seasons of poor quality Torres, we'll ever see him live up to his transfer fee.
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