Fernando Torres has been linked quite a few times to Inter in the last few months, with the suggestion of a loan + option for permanent deal. I am 150% against this idea, and I will now proceed to explain why.
Fernando Torres was once probably the best striker in world football, which of course triggered a £50 million move to Chelsea in Jan 2011. But to properly analyse Fernando Torres’ downfall, we need to roll back the clock to June 2010. Torres was just coming off the back of several years of hamstring injuries, and had two knee surgeries in 2010. This, contrary to the commonly-held belief that it was the transfer to Chelsea, signalled the start of his downfall.
As a then-26 year old Fernando Torres, off the back of 22 goals in 31 matches the previous season, and 18 in just 22 in the league, people everywhere were expecting him to be on the ascendency, rather than the downward spiral to mediocrity. With Liverpool finishing a mere 7th, and manager and long term backer Rafa Benitez sacked, it was anticipated that a move to Premiership heavyweights Chelsea would soon see Torres fix their long term striker problem, and propel them to success.
Thus, a £50 million transfer deadline day move was born, flopping arguably as badly as Andy Carroll’s fated domino move to Liverpool for £35 million the same day.
People still see Torres as the baby faced pacey and agile striker of his Liverpool days, and assume that he is in some sort of long-term slump in form. Except that couldn’t be further from the truth. He doesn’t have the speed that he once did, and with that, he lost his primary cutting edge. His play style was to linger around the edge of the area, pick up the ball, beat the last defenders on a combination of pace and agility (much like one might ascribe to Lionel Messi now, being able to turn on a proverbial dime) to find space and go one on one with the keeper.
Except he can’t do that anymore. And he’s never been able to adapt into a different role. The only thing he does offer now is more hold up play, but even his poor strike rate – considering he’s at a club like Chelsea being backed by Oscar, Willian, Hazard, etc – doesn’t justify playing him as a second striker.
You will never see Torres dashing into the box anymore, moving as quickly as he once did. Even his last minute goal against Barcelona a few years ago, whilst nonetheless quite impressive, was nothing like Torres at his prime. Torres at his prime would have been down the pitch in half a second, instead he looked laboured even there still, and only barely put the ball past the reach of the goalkeeper. Fernando Torres of yester-decade would have placed it further, and ran down that pitch much faster.
His inability to adapt – where he could have focused on his finishing and moved to play a more poacher role – is what really concerns me, too. Someone who scores regularly 30+ goals a season shouldn’t lose that so readily, they should be able to change their play style to adapt to their situation. Except Torres couldn’t. Van Nistelrooy was still banging in an impressive amount of goals aged 32 for Real Madrid, Del Piero scored 20 a season until he was 35, even Ronaldo knocked 23 for Corinthians with his best years clearly behind him aged 33.
Torres’ problems are both physical and mental, and he will never recover his peak ability again. I’ve had this argument with people year on year since he was first linked with us towards the end of his Liverpool days, and every year I can say with ever increasing certainty that he will never recover his peak form again. A man who has scored 20 goals in 110 leagues matches for Chelsea isn’t simply in 4 years of bad form, they are simply a bad player unfortunately.
Football is a cruel mistress in that sense, and the players we often think will be all time greats don’t make it. But you can’t get wrapped up in paying for nostalgia – something which has particularly cost us a lot of money at Inter in the last decades.
On a completely separate, ignoring-the-player-level, Fernando Torres also represents everything I stand against. He’s a supposed (but in actuality won’t offer much) big name marquee player who will bring large marketing revenues attached to him. He’s a world class player on the cheap. He’s someone who doesn’t require any scouting ability at all to find – in fact if you did have proper scouts I have no doubt they’d warn against the £15 million price tag with an additional, perhaps, £200k a week attached salary costs.
Fernando Torres would represent a huge failing for Inter, from a marketing perspective, from a squad perspective, and from a financial perspective. I rarely go out on a limb for a transfer, but in this particular case I am prepared to go the whole nine yards and put myself firmly against signing Torres.
Reposted from : here