Fernando Torres seemed to come out of the game against Manchester United this past weekend remarkably well, despite his horrific open-goal miss. The Spaniard has been the centre of much speculation as of late, linking the misfiring forward with a loan move back to his homeland this January. But is that a wise move on the part of Chelsea boss, Andre Villas-Boas? The player’s confidence is clearly at an all time low, and what could only be described as a premature dismissal from the Premier League could result in the biggest and most expensive flop in British transfer history.

The arrival of Juan Mata and Raul Meireles were supposed to be the catalyst for Torres to push on from his eight-month slump. The ability of the new arrivals to move the ball far more quickly to the striker was seen as the first steps towards Torres finally regaining his form. Moreover, Juan Mata’s presence at Chelsea would have seen a little more familiarity in favour of the former Liverpool man and hopefully have helped him settle in what has clearly been a nightmare surrounding thus far.

He performed exceptionally well…

But there are positives that have come from Torres over the past couple of games. He performed exceptionally well in their opening Champions League group game against Bayer Leverkusen; with the majority of The Blues’ attack coming through the Spaniard, who managed to pick up an assist for each of the two goals.

Chelsea’s solitary goal at the weekend also came from a fantastic bit of movement from the forward, latching onto a Nicolas Anelka pass and dinking the ball over a helpless David De Gea.

…doing all he can to ease the player’s mind…

It would be ludicrous to suggest that Torres may never find his feet again. After all, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is doing all he can to ease the player’s mind and give him the kind of support he has been lacking from the ageing Chelsea side. By targeting a host of big-name players such as Luka Modric, Joao Moutinho and, of course the capture of Juan Mata, we’re given an indication that Torres is very much in the long term future plans of the club. Much like the rest of the neutrals, they want to see a return on their £50 million investment.

I believe that sanctioning a loan move for Torres this January would be a disaster from a footballing perspective. What kind of message would it send if a player the club had coveted for so long has been shipped out a year after his record-breaking transfer? Moreover, what does it say for their footballing future? The team will soon be without Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka due to their age, and Torres is the striker they see leading them into the future. The likes of Daniel Sturridge and newly signed Romelu Lukaku just cannot cut it at Chelsea as the primary strikers.

…who would take Torres?

But an underlying and crucial point to this is who would take Torres? Barcelona have neither the money nor the space to facilitate Torres, and the former Atletico Madrid striker has pledged to never join their city rivals, Real Madrid.

Fernando Torres will be a Chelsea player come 1 February, but it will be down to the manager to get the best out of his miss-firing forward and guide him on the road to recovery.

 

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