Could a summer move save Fernando Torres' career?

Chelsea's Spanish striker is surely heading for the Stamford Bridge exit this summer, but is it too late for him to resurrect his career at another club, or can he still regain the form he showed at Liverpool and Atletico Madrid?

Fernando Torres is perhaps the clearest example of that fact that winning trophies is not necessarily what makes you a great footballer. Last season was undoubtedly the most successful of his career in this regard, winning the Champions League and FA Cup with Chelsea, and nabbing the Golden Boot in helping Spain to win their third successive international tournament at Euro 2012.

Throughout all of this, Torres was a bit part figure and a shadow of the striker he had been during far less successful periods at Liverpool and Atletico Madrid. Torres might have joined Chelsea partly to try and win trophies, and indeed he has done so, but no-one would argue that he is as good a player as he was before joining the Blues.

This summer will likely see him leave, although it will be a challenge to find a club willing to pay his extravagant wages given the form that he has shown in the past couple of seasons. Torres has to be willing to take a pay cut, but more importantly must choose a team that will suit his style of football better than Chelsea.

At Liverpool Torres was always ready to break in behind the defence as his team countered through the excellent passing of Xabi Alonso and Steven Gerrard. At Chelsea he has to play second fiddle to a plethora of extraordinary midfielders in the attack, with Juan Mata and Eden Hazard the focus of a side that builds the play up methodically, with the result that Torres rarely has space to operate in around the opposition defence.

If he can find a team with the style and players to complement him, there is still a chance that Torres can become a fine player once again. However looking at the player as he is today, there is also every likelihood that even if he was transplanted back into that Liverpool side Torres would struggle.

This summer could be his last chance to mount a comeback, and his primary objective should not be to find the team that can give him the biggest payday or challenge for trophies, but a side where he will fit naturally into their style of place.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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