Fernando Torres is no longer the world-class striker he once was, but Diego Forlan still believes Atletico Madrid should keep the Spaniard at the Vicente Calderon beyond this summer.
Forlan, who played for Atletico between 2007 and 2011, feels Torres still works hard for the team and remains capable of scoring important goals - as he demonstrated against Barcelona, before being sent off, in the Champions League last week.
Torres, 32, has scored eight goals in 35 appearances for the Colchoneros this season and speculation is rife that Diego Simeone will allow the fan favourite to leave the Calderon at the end of the campaign.
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But Forlan believes the Atletico boss should keep Torres as part of his squad for the 2016-17 campaign.
“It would be really good if they renewed his contract,” Forlan told 888Sport.com. “He may not have scored many goals this season but his work-rate is crucial and the ones he has scored have all been important. He is still a great player and it is hugely significant that he is a local boy with the club in his heart.”
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Torres is playing for his Atletico future
Torres scored his seventh La Liga goal of the season in Atletico’s 3-1 win over Espanyol on Saturday to help Simeone’s men move to within three points of Barcelona, who suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to Real Sociedad at the weekend.
If Torres helps Atletico win La Liga - or, who knows, maybe even the Champions League - then his chances of being offered a new contract will significantly increase.
Simeone, in an ideal world, will probably want to sign another top-class striker to ease the goalscoring burden on the versatile Antoine Griezmann. This would subsequently leave Torres further down the pecking order.
Terry Gibson: Atletico should keep Torres
However, Spanish football expert Terry Gibson also believes Atletico should keep Torres for at least another season, due to his special connection with the club.
"Torres has a genuine affection with Atletico, it's the club he grew up supporting and it's where he first made his mark in professional football," Gibson told the La Liga weekly podcast, per Sky Sports.
"It was inevitable that he was going to go back at some stage. Diego Simeone is an old team-mate of Torres so, if it was ever going to work anywhere for Torres, it would have been at that club.
"If I was Simeone I would keep Torres, although a lot depends on his salary. I wouldn't say I'd do everything to keep him but I would put a reasonable amount of effort in.
"If Torres gets offer from other clubs that are offering huge sums of money - for example China - then the player has a decision to make.
"If the wages were reasonable then I think Simeone would be clever enough to know Torres is good to have around the place and in the squad.
"If he loves the club that much and he is happy being the more experienced player among a young group of players then Torres may well take up that option."
Is Fernando Torres still good enough for Atletico Madrid? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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