Chelsea's British record signing Fernando Torres, has not lived up to his expectations. Although he salvaged 22 goals last season, his total Chelsea tally, in two and a half years, is a dismal 34 goals in 133 matches, a far cry from his 81 in 142 matches with Liverpool.
It is also no secret that Chelsea's league campaign in the past two seasons, has also been marred with their lead striker's below par showing. Although he has shown some shades of his former brilliance, his inconsistency have hampered the Blues' considerably.
Now with Romelu Lukaku back at the club, and a new major striker - probably Samuel Eto'o, about to join the Blues, there is a growing speculation that Torres' days as a Blue are numbered, with reported interest from his former club Liverpool and even Arsenal, and from other leagues.
Chelsea are in no need of cash, and so selling away Torres for what would be a paltry sum, makes no commercial sense. He is one of the most recognisable players in the world, and a big ambassador for Chelsea.
There is also that deep seeded fear that Torres might rise from the ashes into a super striker again, although it seems highly unlikely now; but it would play in the Management's head.
Jose Mourinho has come back to the Club with a plan, and Torres is definitely a part of it. The Manager who moulded Didier Drogba into one of the greatest finishers of his time, could reload El Nino, or at least improve him further.
In fact, Chelsea have more than a few reasons to hold onto their biggest purchase:
Playmaker: Although he has not seen the back of the net a lot, Torres has been involved in a lot of the play with Chelsea's wizard and fellow Spain colleague Juan Mata.
Torres still has the game sense and tactics of a major finisher, and is still strong around the box.
Mourinho could easily start Torres as a second striker, or play him as an attacking central midfielder.
He still has decent pace and alongside the explosive Eden Hazard and Andre Schurrle, he could flourish in the role. Fellow strikers Demba Ba and Lukaku have the poaching instincts to capitalise on Torres' game play.
He still scores: Although not a consistent match winner, Torres' 22 goals last season are proof that he can still find the net. His impressive run in the Europa League, was pivotal in Chelsea winning the tournament.
He can easily fulfil the role of the secondary striker, someone to fill in late, or start in low level clashes.
With David Luiz and Michael Essien, who is back at Stamford Bridge, Torres has two strong defensive midfielders behind him to feed him long balls, a tactic under which he thrived at Liverpool with Steven Gerrard.
Experience: With a career total of over 200 goals, and most of them in top league competitions, Torres is a very experienced campaigner. Chelsea's youthful but inexperienced front line needs someone like him to guide and mentor.
Torres' involvement would be critical in Mourinho's plan to nourish Lukaku, Schurrle, and Hazard as stars of tomorrow.
Choosing Torres as a late substitute against United in their recent PL clash, is evident of Mou's plan to use Torres' experience for finishing up matches.
The Brand: Torres shirts are one of the most purchased merchandise in the PL. His star striker image is still alive, and commandeers a large profit for the club.
In fact, Chelsea have already recovered a healthy percentage of what they paid for him, in the form of their Torres merchandise and shirts.
As such, selling away Torres for a small token amount, will not appeal to Roman Abramovich.
With new speculations arising everyday, it would hard to predict what might actually happen. But Torres would not be going away from Chelsea, unless his contract expires.
Expect the Spaniard to feature heavily on the bench this season, and just maybe, that could awaken the sleeping Red Torres inside him.
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