The Spanish striker has endured a torrid time at Stamford Bridge since his £50 million transfer to Chelsea from Liverpool back in January 2011. He never quite found the confidence to replicate his sensation form at Anfield for the Blues, despite numerous attempts from coaches to revive his career.
As I discussed earlier this week, Jose Mourinho has stated that he may prefer to keep Torres and try to work with him to address the form and confidence issues that have plagued his Chelsea career. The special one may need to work a special miracle in order to resuscitate Torres’ former goal scoring form.
However, one thing that should give Mourinho hope, perhaps, is the 26-year-old’s form for his country – his record for the Spanish national side seems to have been relatively unaffected by his poor form at club level.
His tally from 2010 when he was still at Liverpool was 3 goals in 13 appearances, compared to his 4 goals in 10 appearances in 2012 by which time he’d joined Chelsea.
In fact, taking into account only competitive international matches, Torres has a ratio of one goal every two games for Spain; three goals in six appearances. He does also appear much happier when he plays for Spain – his characteristically doe-eyed grimace in a Chelsea shirt is seldom on display in the red of his nation.
Whilst I’m not attempting to make assertions about his preferences over shirt colour, it would seem to me he prefers working alongside his compatriots – whether that be under Rafael Benitez and with Xabi Alonso, Alvaro Arbeloa and Pepe Reina with Liverpool or with Juan Mata with whom he links up well with for Spain.
Now, according to the Daily Mirror, Barcelona are interested in bringing him to the Camp Nou this summer and whilst he wouldn’t be regarded as a first-choice centre-forward for the Catalans perhaps that would be the best place form him to repair the damage to his confidence.
He already has strong relationships with the majority of their first-team stars through the national squad and he is held in high esteem in his homeland a) because of his fine form with Athletico Madrid and b) his fine form for Spain.
He was held in similar high esteem at Liverpool but the same regard is not held by Chelsea – who could blame the club and the fans for their £50 million pounds and two years worth of frustration?
Whilst Mourinho may believe he can ‘fix’ Torres, Barcelona are reportedly willing to pay £17 million to bring him to Catalonia and that is probably the highest recuperation of their initial outlay Chelsea are likely to get for him. Maybe Barcelona are actually the special ones who can finally fix Fernando?
image: © Ben Sutherland