In 2011, Chelsea made a monumental offer of £50m for one of the Premier League's best strikers.
Fernando Torres was subject to one of the biggest transfer bids seen in the modern era. Many felt that the striker had truly justified his price tag at the time with some scintillating displays which lit up the Premier League.
His single-handed demolition of Manchester United in 2009 established him as one of the league’s most clinical finishers. Much was expected of "El Nino" after his move to Stamford Bridge; the Spaniard, however, failed to live up to expectations.
Making your home debut against your old club is one way Torres could make himself an instant hero with the Stamford Bridge faithful; however, his memorable debut was not to be as Chelsea slumped to a 1-0 defeat.
His below-par performance were understandable for the first few games. Chelsea fans, however, began to become agitated with the Spanish hit-man.
It was only after 903 minutes that Torres finally scored for Chelsea - against West Ham. Many felt the pressure of getting that goal affected Torres too much, but many predicted that his goal would be the catalyst to launch him back to the top of his game.
How wrong they were. Torres was high on confidence and his link-up play mirrored some of that during his time at Liverpool; however, the goals just wouldn’t come. Another goal drought during his first season, which lasted 24 games, ended after a brace and two assists against Leicester City in 2012.
The Spaniard had time and time again proven that he had bags of individual talent, and in some games proved why the club's owner Roman Abramovich made him the sixth most expensive transfer in history.
Torres never quite rekindled his Liverpool form at Chelsea. One thing that’s missing is confidence. He has lost faith in his own ability, lost the confidence to take on defenders and goalkeepers and, most importantly, lost faith that he can consistently produce goals.
Many felt the reason for his demise was also to do with the fact that he tried too hard to justify his price tag , splashing out £50m is no joke to big owners such as Abramovich and under the intense pressure the Spaniard crumbled.
Chelsea fans expected him to be the striker he was at Liverpool. Moving to a big club like Chelsea they also expected him to grow under Didier Drogba’s guidance and spearhead the frontline when the Ivorian would eventually retire.
Many have claimed that Torres was not coached properly by Chelsea managers over the years. The return of Torres’ old mentor Benitez was surely a ploy by the owner to try and help the struggling Spaniard. Benitez’s influence, however, was not to rub off and Torres has fallen further out of favour.
With the signing of Demba Ba, "El Nino" also finds it harder to hold down a starting position in the team.
Torres did not have a major role to play in most of Chelsea’s fabulous Champions League run apart from his goal against Barcelona, which again proved to sceptics that he still has bags of individual ability.
This season, however, the Spaniard has blossomed in the Europa League, scoring key goals against Rubin Kazan to help guide Chelsea to the final.
The tournament has provided him with a fantastic opportunity to play without fear and try to discover some of that form that Chelsea fans long to see one day. The final in Amsterdam could be his big chance to prove doubters wrong, lead from the front and help boost his confidence, which he will be able to take into the new Premier League season.
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