Fernando Torres’ decision to swap the rigours of the Premier League for the sunny shores of Italy and Serie A with AC Milan could be just what the Spaniard needs to reignite his faltering career.
The forward, who found himself surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge following the acquisition of Diego Costa and return of Didier Drogba, replaces Mario Balotelli, with the Italian now gracing England’s top flight with Liverpool.
The Italians have taken a big punt on the struggling striker, yet there is hope that Torres will recapture the form of old and thrive in the cauldron of the San Siro.
Despite his spell at Chelsea being a turbulent and lacklustre affair, there was a time when the Spaniard was one of the best marksmen in world football.
Having shone at Atletico Madrid, where he donned the armband at just 19-years-old, Torres moved to Liverpool in 2007 and instantly took the Premier League by storm.
It was at Anfield where he became the fastest player in the club’s history to find the net 50 times, with particularly sparkling displays against Arsenal in the Champions League and Manchester United on the domestic front endearing him to Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.
The Russian had bid for the striker during his days in Spain but finally got his man on transfer deadline day in January 2011 for a British record transfer fee of £50 million.
Torres leaves for Milan after a nightmare three-and-a-half years with the Blues.
Injuries had already began to derail his career during the latter stages of his time in Merseyside, but his form hit a new low as he managed just one goal during his maiden half-season under Carlo Ancelotti.
The continuously majestic performances conjured by Didier Drogba served only to highlight his plight, and as various managers were shown the door Torres’ future fell under increasing scrutiny.
His finest performances came via the Europa League under the stewardship of Rafael Benitez, yet Jose Mourinho’s arrival and open desire for a new striker meant his days on English soil became numbered towards the end of last season.
Diego Costa, Drogba and QPR’s Loic Remy are likely to be the new attacking trio for the Londoners with the former already having scored four times in his first three games for the club.
The 28-year-old is now the man entrusted with returning Milan to the dizzying heights of old following a terrible campaign under both Massimiliano Allegri and Clarence Seedorf last term.
Filippo Inzaghi has been active in the transfer market – bolstering his squad with the additions of Jeremy Menez, Alex and Diego Lopez – and will hope his new talisman can ensure a quick return to a place amongst the elite.
If Inzaghi is the man to get the Spanish international firing again then it could define his reign in the hot-seat and even increase their hopes of a shock Scudetto.