Time running out for Torres


There was a time Fernando Torres could, perhaps, boast to be the first name on the team sheet for both club and country.

But those days are now long gone for the 27-year-old who, over the past 18 months, has endured a quite dramatic decline in form and attracted frequent derision.

Since joining Chelsea from Liverpool little over 12 months ago for a British record transfer fee of £50 million, Torres has found the net on only five occasions.

This is the same player who, during his first season in English football, scored 33 goals for Liverpool and fairly laid claim to the title of the world's finest striker.

Torres, though, faces an uncertain future both at Stamford Bridge and at international level unless he begins to discover his goalscoring touch some time soon.

Reports in recent weeks have claimed Roman Abramovich is considering selling Torres in the summer and, during the January transfer window, it was reported that the Spaniard could move to Tottenham in exchange for Luka Modric.

Harry Redknapp, however, dismissed these suggestions and Torres now remains in west London until the end of the season at least.

According to the Daily Star, the summer could signal the end of Torres' Chelsea career, with a return to his first club Atletico Madrid said to be in the offing.

Abramovich, it is reported, is keen on Atletico hitman Falcao, and is willing to offer Torres in exchange in the hope of bringing the Colombian to Stamford Bridge.

A return to his roots could be exactly what Torres needs to revitalise his stagnating career, which could be set to take a turn for the worse on the international stage.

Torres' dire form hardly warrants a spot in Spain's first XI, let alone a place in Vicente Del Bosque's squad for this year's European Championships.

And, for the first time, the Spain boss has conceded that Torres will no longer be able to feature for the European and World champions purely based on previous performances.

"We will consider the past, but we cannot ignore today," Del Bosque told Canal+.

"Fernando Torres knows what he has to do to be in the squad."

The failure to make the Spain squad for Euro 2012 after nine years of uninterrupted appearances for his country could prove to be a serious psychological blow for Torres.

A popular figure with his fellow professionals and well liked in the press, Torres has no shortage of people praying he can recapture the form he showed during his time at Anfield.

However, the likelihood of Torres reaching the heights of the past looks increasingly doubtful, although one can only hope that he can prove the doubters wrong.

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