When Fernando Torres joined Chelsea in January 2011 for £50m, he was widely expected to be the striker that replaced Didier Drogba and spearhead their challenge for domestic and European glory.
In 109 games for Chelsea, Torres has notched up 40 goals. Those stats don't read as a complete disaster, but for someone that scored 81 goals in 142 games for Liverpool, it can be seen as a drastic drop. His form has most certainly dipped since his big money move.
And here's my opinion on why that is.
Liverpool would often play with a 4-3-3 formation. Mascherano, Gerrard and Xabi Alonso occupying midfield with Dirk Kuyt, Fernando Torres and Albert Riera occupying the forward positions. Xabi Alonso, was the key playmaker in the side, spraying balls out wide or over the top. Gerrard was the powerhouse, supporting Torres in the oppositions box. Kuyt was the workhorse, arguably Liverpool's most unselfish player. Whilst Riera was a fine crosser of the ball.
When attacking Torres would undoubtedly be in the oppositions box or on the last shoulder of the defender, rarely coming short to receive the ball or drifting out wide. He was their best finisher, and it only made sense to leave him in the box getting on the end of crosses and through balls.
They built their team around Torres, he was the focal point of their attack and their main striker. He was adored by the fans, players and manager. He felt comfortable and happy.
At Chelsea they have a number of big names players most of them 'number 10's' and player's that have a clear eye for goal. During his time at Chelsea, Torres hasn't been seen as one of the key players. He was competing with Didier Drogba for the main stiker, after he had a career resurgence, and he wasn't the crowd favourite with that honour going to Juan Mata, the player brought in to help Torres.
Many of the Chelsea attackers will get themselves in the box, often invading Torres' space. Leaving him to drift out wide or come short to find room. This most certainly isn't one of Torres' qualities, he's much better standing in the box getting on the end of crosses and through balls.
Both of these, are undoubtedly having an effect on his play. He often looks frustrated and uncomfortable on the ball, this is because he's a player that wants to be the focal point of the team and Chelsea's style of play isn't suited to this. And with Eden Hazard deservedly becoming their key player, and shooting on sight, I don't see it getting better for Torres whilst at Chelsea.
Both the club and player should agree that it hasn't worked out and cut their losses before one of the best finishers the Premier League has seen fades from the game.
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