On January 31 of last year, Fernando Torres became the most valuable player in the history of British football when he joined Chelsea from Liverpool for the fee of £50 million.
But, some 12 months later, the Spanish striker could have been demoted to plying his trade in the Championship rather than the Premier League, had West Ham chairman David Sullivan got his way.
"Well if he couldn’t score in the Premier League, come along with us for a month. We might fire him up!
"They just said: 'Not at this moment in time'."
The fact that West Ham believed they may have a realistic chance of securing the services of Torres - albeit on a temporary basis - provides a stark realisation of how far he has fallen from grace.
When Torres arrived at Stamford Bridge, he had been experiencing an unprecedented run of poor form for Liverpool although, it was thought, it was only a matter of time before he would recapture the goalscoring touch of old.
But this has yet to transpire over a year later, and the future of Torres as a Chelsea player appears as though it could be in serious jeopardy.
The 27-year-old's performance against Birmingham on Saturday will rank alongside his worst for the club during his short spell in west London, even though it lasted only 45 minutes.
Torres was judged to have been so ineffectual during the first half at Stamford Bridge, that he was replaced by Didier Drogba at the interval - an admirable move by Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas.
When West Ham met Birmingham in the Championship on Boxing Day, Carlton Cole caused havoc amongst the Blues' defence, despite the encounter ending in a 1-1 draw.
Torres, though, was unable to get any change whatsoever from Birmingham's central defenders and, as it stands, West Ham may be better off with Cole leading their line rather than the former.
It really does come as a serious concern for the Spaniard when his previously supreme talents are compared to those of the often maligned Cole. But, had he moved to Upton Park, Torres would struggle on current form to oust his Hammers counterpart from Sam Allardyce's starting XI.
With no disrespect intended at all to West Ham or Birmingham, it is fair to suggest that Torres' star has taken a tumble to its lowest point so far - quite an achievement given the past 12 months.
At this moment in time, Torres is far from an asset for Villas-Boas and, with the Portuguese set to reshape his squad in the summer, there may be no place for the the former Liverpool hitman at Chelsea.
The next three months could be the most crucial so far in Torres' career, with the Spain international in dire need to prove he can cut it at a club of Chelsea's stature.
If not, then he could always give David Sullivan a call.
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