Chelsea should sell Fernando Torres to Barcelona
Chelsea opinion: The Blues should offload Fernando Torres to Barcelona if possible this summer
Graham Hunter, Sky Sports' Spain-based journalist, has confirmed that Barcelona are seriously considering a £17m move for Fernando Torres this summer.
Assuming this is true, Chelsea would be wise to take the Catalan club up on the offer.
Fernando Torres has come under fire since his move to Chelsea in 2011, after failing to live up to his price tag.
'El Nino' had endured a terrible hamstring injury shortly before the big-money transfer, and he has never been a world-class act since. Torres lost his pace, which he used to destructive effect prior to the injury.
The pressure of the record £50m price tag may have played a part in the demise of his movement and eye for goal, which had come so naturally before his transfer from Liverpool.
The 29-year-old has somewhat redeemed himself this season in the eyes of some Chelsea fans. His tally stands at a healthy 21 goals for all competitions this year.
However, the Spaniard has now made 51 appearances as Chelsea's sole striker this season. In comparison to other top Premier League forwards that is a great deal more. Robin van Persie and Luis Suarez have totalled only 40 appearances each for their respective clubs, and have both been seen as players that have carried their teams this season.
Furthermore, a third of his goals this season have come from Europa League games, where Chelsea were facing weaker opposition than expected.
In that context, Torres's season does not look so appreciable. People will also forget his dire form running from November through to February that had fans desperately crying out for a new striker to be bought it in. Performances such as his in the Club World Cup Final against Corinthians stood testament to his lack of movement, control and finishing.
The 2012/13 season was an improvement for Torres, but he still hasn't proved that he is good enough to be Chelsea's main man at the front. When Chelsea have been playing poor, the Spaniard has never scored to save the game as Van Persie, Aguero and Suarez have all done for their sides in the past. He is not a player that can be relied on to change the game.
On top of that, he could not even serve as a back-up option for Chelsea behind Romelu Lukaku, or potentially Robert Lewandowski or Edinson Cavani. At the end of last season he publicly expressed his disappointment at being cast out of the first team by Didier Drogba.
Moreover, Torres is on £175,000-per-week. With those wages it seems illogical to keep him on the bench when Demba Ba offers just as much on the field and will happily play as back-up to another top striker.
Ba has suffered a recent dip in form, but can still be a top-class striker at the peak of his game. He came to Chelsea with an immediate impact, scoring two goals on his debut at a time when the London club were lacking a clinical presence upfront.
The former-Newcastle player proved he had what Torres didn't, with a fantastic goal against Manchester United. That goal showed an eagerness to run behind the line, as well as determination and an incredible athletic finish. Ba certainly adds much needed depth to the Chelsea squad.
Selling the Spaniard for £33m less than what the Blues had purchased him for may be not be an attractive option. But considering his age and form over the past few seasons it is a reasonable price.
With Chelsea likely to bring in a big-name striker this summer, selling Torres will be a good option. That way, Chelsea can use the young Lukaku to interchange with our new forward, with Ba providing a solid reserve option.
It is time to move on from relying on a striker that will never hit his peak again.
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