Fernando Torres' time at Chelsea has been eventful to say the least. Since he moved to West London from Premier League rivals Liverpool for a British record £50 million fee back in January 2011, the Spaniard has been plagued by inconsistency and uncertainty.
Often suffering from a chronic lack of confidence that has presumably significantly worsened through all of the harsh and often unwarranted barbs and hurtful jibes thrown his way on a weekly basis, he just has not been able to repeat the sort of stellar form that made him one of the most-feared strikers on the planet during his spell at Anfield.
Although Torres has shown encouraging signs of improvement since Jose Mourinho assumed control once again prior to the start of the 2013/14 campaign, his modest scoring return - added to similar struggles endured by strike partners Samuel Eto'o and Demba Ba - has led to a torrent of speculation suggesting that Chelsea will be on the hunt for a star striker when the transfer window re-opens in January.
A number of names have been speculated upon, with highly-rated Colombian marksman Falcao seemingly emerging as a frontrunner.
Just yesterday, in fact, reports suggested that Monaco - Falcao's current employers - have put a sizeable £80 million price tag on their most-prized asset but could be persuaded to lower such a steep valuation if either Torres or Ba is included as part of the deal.
In my opinion, Chelsea and Mourinho must not offload Torres as part of such an agreement. While it is of course true that his reputation has suffered a large degree of damage in recent seasons, the World Cup winner - the proud recipient of 106 Spain caps, no less - still possesses immense talent and should be pursued with.
Let me be perfectly clear. I believe that Chelsea are unquestionably in need of adding another world-class forward to their ranks.
However, in doing so, they should not be looking to replace Torres. Instead, they should be looking to compliment and relieve the mounting pressure on his shoulders. Falcao is a player who, despite his lack of previous experience of English football, would surely do just that.
While it could be also argued that Demba Ba has not quite been given an extended chance to prove himself at Chelsea, if it is indeed true that Monaco would lower their valuation if the Senegalese international was included as part of the deal, then Mourinho should not think twice about that particular swap.
If Chelsea could entice Falcao to Stamford Bridge and somehow convince Monaco into parting with the striker they only signed themselves during the summer, then that would be a fantastic and timely boost to their hopes of claiming another Premier League title.
However, he should be joining Torres. Not replacing him.
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