Liverpool were incredibly fortunate that in the same transfer window that Fernando Torres left for Chelsea, Luis Suarez arrived from Ajax.
It was in January 2011, when Chelsea submitted a £50 million offer for Torres that Liverpool simply couldn’t turn down.
"Movement is part and parcel of football but the most important people at Liverpool Football Club are the ones who want to be here,” then Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish said on the day of Torres’ departure.
And so it proved, with Suarez taking the famous number 7 jersey at Anfield following his £22.7m move from Ajax.
The Uruguayan would quickly make Liverpool fans forget about Torres. He helped deliver one of the best seasons in the club’s recent history, scoring 31 goals as the Reds came so close to winning the Premier League title in 2013-14.
But the initial reaction to Torres’ exit was one of sadness. He became a fan favourite on Merseyside, scoring 81 goals in 142 appearances, so to see him leave for one of Liverpool’s main rivals naturally disappointed the club’s supporters.
They will never forget the way the striker left Nemanja Vidic helpless before scoring in a 4-1 win against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Man United players noticed an issue with Torres
Torres scored three times against the Red Devils for Liverpool but Man United’s players never feared the forward in a way that you might have expected.
Speaking to Jamie Carragher about Man United and Liverpool’s famous rivalry, with a particular focus on United’s heated 2-1 win in 2010, Gary Neville has revealed that he and his teammates quickly realised Torres had become rather predictable.
“Was he a big part of the team talks, Torres?” Carragher asks Neville.
Neville replies: “Yeah. Cut the channel off.”
The former Man United right-back then continues: “I have to say about the couple of experiences I had playing against him, one playing for Spain in the Bernabeu where I thought, ‘wow, what a player,’ and he obviously was and is an incredible player, but we always felt like there was something missing, there was something just not quite right.
“He’d had that unbelievable partnership with Steven Gerrard, [Xabi] Alonso, passing balls through to him, but I felt at this point he might just have been going over the top a little bit, and people had worked him out a little bit in terms of how to stop him.”
Go to 1:40 in the video below to watch the conversation.
It’s a fair analysis from Neville. Indeed, Torres never was the same player when he left for Stamford Bridge.