When you think of Fernando Torres, you will frequently ask this question: what happened to him? Everyone knows that Torres has been barely starting for Chelsea F.C. And now, you hear that Torres is on July’s transfer window but no teams are willing to take him. With on going slump since his departure from Liverpool to Chelsea and failure to help La Furia Roja in the 2014 World Cup, it seems as no teams are willing to gamble for Torres right now. But before expanding more on his slump, maybe talking about his “Golden Age” will enlighten many people who Torres actually is.
Torres first debuted his career at the Atletico Madrid (2000-2007) when he was just 17. Although Torres struggled in his first two seasons because of a cracked shinbone, he started to see more actions especially during 2002-2003 season. Torres boasted his talent as he capped 214 games and scored 82 goals for the AT Madrid. Plus, Torres was named as the captain of the AT Madrid when he was only 19. No professional teams would ever have their 19 year old players to lead the team; well, Atletico did. His pace, trickery and finishing ability were enough to justify AT Madrid’s decision to name him as a captain. Also, his tendency to score goals when they were completely out of blue was something that highlighted him as well. It’s no wonder that so many managers from different club teams wanted Torres as part of their teams.
Seeing how he’s full of talent, Liverpool (2007-2011) decided to recruit him with £26 million to boost their offense. As they expected, Torres recorded himself with 50 goals (38 if you exclude goals National Cups, League Cups, and UEFA Cups) for first two seasons (2007-2009). And at only in his early twenties, this Spaniard seemed to have a very promising career in Liverpool as he became one of the most deadliest strikers in the world. While enjoying his stay at Liverpool, Torres also helped Spain’s national team to win the Euro 2008 by scoring the winning goal against Germany (1-0) during the Euro 2008 finals. Later, Torres would also contribute for Spain by winning the 2010 World Cup as well. If you really needed someone to score, then Torres would have been your right choice. Well, that’s no longer a realistic choice anymore.
Soon, Torres started to lose his spotlight as he started his 2009-2010 season in Liverpool. One of main causes was that his injuries started to take tolls against him. For example, Torres suffered in significant groin and knee injuries during the 2009-2010 season. That was when people started to notice that Torres was losing his pace. With his knee injuries holding him back, Torres lost the speed and agility as a striker. Besides his injuries, his attitude had alarmingly changed. His pre-match exercises and constant arguing with referees for couple minutes showed his poor qualities as a striker. Poor performances in pre-match exercises and constant argument with referees can be tolerable but Torres’s effort to chase passes from his teammates was not even visible. It seemed like Torres was not enjoying his stay in Liverpool at all as these things kept conflicting against him.
Although Torres still recorded himself with 81 goals in his 142 appearances for Liverpool, he decided that he wanted to go to a different team. He wanted to go to a better team that would win FA Cup, UEFA Cup, League Cup, etc. Simple way to put this is that he wanted to win more. So, Torres broke the EPL transfer record by signing with Chelsea (2011- present) for£50 million under 5 1/2 year contract. Then you start to think wow Torres that was an impressive move and start to wish him a luck in his next move to the Blues. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Little did Chelsea know that Torres had not gotten himself out of the slump yet. The Blues probably signed him up so he could be a great asset in scoring multiple goals in both EPL and Champions League. Out of 172 caps that he showed up for Chelsea he scored 20 goals (45 if you count UEFA and Champions League). 20 goals in just league matches for past three seasons shows how poorly he performed.
Injuries in his knee can be an excuse but what’s more appalling is that his self confidence dropped as he faced limited time in playing. Torres had been facing rough time as he’s losing in competition against his fellow teammates, Romelu Lukaku (Belgium’s striker) and Demba Ba, who have provided better results for Chelsea than Torres did. Although Torres was able to regain some of his momentum by stepping up in the second half of 2013-2014 season, Chelsea’s manager, Jose Mourinho, remained unconvinced. Also, Torres had a chance to redeem his image when he was included into La Furia Roja’s 23 men squad for the 2014 World Cup as he helped Spain defeat Bolivia in its friendly match 2-0 by scoring a penalty. But Torres failed to live up to expectations as he couldn’t stop Spain from falling apart against Netherlands (5-1) and Chile (2-0).
With the 2014 World Cup completely disastrous for Torres, nobody is looking towards him with positive lights. Chelsea recently announced that they have successfully signed up Diego Costa (AT Madrid), another Spanish forward, with £32 million. Although Costa didn’t do too well in the World Cup, people cannot deny his stats for this past season in AT Madrid. He scored 36 goals in this season, catching Mourinho’s attention. Mourinho’s decision to include Costa as part of the roster seems like Torres is no longer needed in his game plan.
Adding salt on his wounds, no teams have shown interest in buying Torres. His price is too much for other teams to handle. His weekly salary is £175,000; really overrated for what he’s doing right now. Telegraphs reported that Inter-Milan has shown an interest in buying Torres but they seem to be reluctant in paying the same weekly salary as Chelsea has been doing for Torres. Torres has to think realistically now. He must find a team that will guarantee him a starting spot. Perhaps aiming at middle-ranked teams in La Liga may be a wiser decision. But he has to lower his price if he wants to continue on. Can Torres re-create the golden age that he had on AT Madrid and Liverpool? Players like Ronaldinho has been going through another golden age and it’s not too late for Torres. But he cannot avoid prices he has to pay if he wants to do better.