Football

Liverpool: Moving on from Fernando Torres

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Lazy journalism links Fernando Torres with a return to Liverpool practically every transfer window, but what is the actual likelihood of a move coming to fruition?

Let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we?

Quite simply, Fernando Torres was one of the most adored footballers I have ever witnessed at Anfield. He was loved to the extent that some Liverpudlians still love him now, several years after his departure.

On the other hand, many despise him for his “betrayal” and handing in a transfer request to leave the club. However, there are those who are somewhat in between, those who cannot distinguish the facts from the fiction, myself included in that congregation.

“El Nino” delighted the Kop in his first season with a spectacular return of 33 goals in all competitions after his £27 million move from Atletico Madrid in July 2007. 

Of these, 24 were in the Premier League as Torres earned himself the award for most prolific foreign goal scorer in a debut season in England - beating former record holder Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s 23.

He announced his arrival to the Premier League in as little as 16 minutes as he twisted and turned past the Chelsea defence and tucked away a neat finish on his Anfield debut.

He went on to amass a tally of 21 goals on home turf, including hat-tricks against Sunderland and West Ham United in successive weeks - the first Liverpool player since Jack Balmer in 1946 to do so. 

Torres had also managed a hat-trick against Reading in the Carling Cup earlier in the season as he truly began to make people around the world sit up and take notice of his talent. 

The Liverpool faithful immediately took Torres to their hearts as he and talisman Steven Gerrard combined to devastating effect for several years, becoming a partnership feared across Europe.

As the 2008/09 season got under way, Torres was plagued with hamstring injuries. He was, however, determined to make up for lost time in the second part of the season and scored 11 goals in 22 matches when the title was Liverpool's to lose, which they unfortunately did by only four points.

In 2009/10 Fernando's goals-per-game ratio in Premier League matches was his best yet, with the Spaniard scoring 18 goals in 22 matches. 

He became the fastest Liverpool player to reach 50 League goals, though frustratingly, he missed almost as many matches as he played in as Liverpool finished with 23 points less in the League compared to the previous season.

It hardly came as a surprise when Torres handed in a transfer request in the last few days of the January 2011 transfer window, as he had been looking very unhappy in the red shirt in the last few months.

Jamie Carragher recently spoke to Sky Sports and questioned the Spaniard’s lack of effort shortly before his move saying “Fernando Torres, at times, wasn’t giving his best on the pitch at Liverpool.”

Torres moved down to London in a £50 million deal to join then defending Premier League champions, Chelsea. Some argue his move was the correct choice as he has gone on to win the Champions League, the Europa League and an FA Cup.

Despite this, a disappointing tally of only 34 goals in two-and-a-half seasons at Stamford Bridge is nowhere near the goals-per-game ratio he had enjoyed as a Liverpool player. 

He simply has not recaptured the same form he had whilst at Anfield and as many have highlighted, he doesn't seem to enjoy his football as much at Stamford Bridge.

Even the return of Rafael Benitez could not kick-start his Chelsea career - and whilst Torres did score an adequate amount of goals last season, his form has not recuperated.

Nearly 3 years on from his move, he has yet to justify his price-tag.

Torres is very much a confidence player, and when he's not got any confidence, his form deteriorates rapidly.

His form was not always outstanding at Liverpool, but his capability to score a crucial goal when it mattered earned him many plaudits.

In total, Torres finished with a remarkable 65 goals in 102 Premier League appearances for the Reds and 81 in 142 appearances in all competitions.

The Spaniard did have some pitfalls though, most notably his tendency to pick up injuries that hampered the squad’s progress. This problem was compounded by the club’s over-reliance on him being fit.

In addition to this problem, Torres was not exactly one to roll his sleeves up and fight when it wasn’t going his way, he was often guilty of moping about and picked up several yellow cards for moaning unnecessarily at referees.

Nevertheless, Torres could then pop up and provide moments of magic despite being non-existent throughout. 

Liverpool's biggest mistake in the Fernando Torres transfer saga was wasting much of the £50 million wind-fall that they received from Chelsea on Andy Carroll. 

Many Liverpudlians were left heartbroken after his decision to leave and the sheer mention of his name amongst a Liverpool crowd is enough to cause debate.

Every transfer window it seems lazy journalists and optimistic Liverpool fans link Torres with a return to Anfield, but at the age of 29 and his form having rapidly declined since leaving us, would we really want him back? Personally, I wouldn’t.

Undoubtedly, his time at Liverpool was fantastic for the player and for the supporters. He was and always will be one of the best strikers I will witness grace the Anfield turf in a red shirt.

He earned a reputation across European and world football for being one of the most feared strikers in football, lately however, no-one fears him.

Despite the glorious memories, the club has moved on from him. We may not have added to our trophy cabinet significantly in his absence. We may not have qualified for the Champions League since he left.

Nevertheless, the club, on the whole, is better off.

Plans are in place for a redevelopment of Anfield finally and  the club is much better financially under the guidance of FSG rather than the hellish Tom Hicks & George Gillett.

A lot has happened since his departure and our future is much more promising. 

The love and hate affair with Fernando will forever remain with half determined that he betrayed the club and another half still in love with him that would welcome his return with open arms. Some such as Pepe Reina say that he was lied to by our American owners and was led to believe false promises. 

Whatever the case may be, Liverpool will always move on. No player is bigger than the club.

 

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Topics:
Liverpool
Fernando Torres
Football

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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