Is Jose Mourinho right to pledge to support Torres at Chelsea?

Fernando Torres

The Stamford Bridge manager is backing the misfiring Spanish forward, saying that his team must adapt to suit the attacker’s style of play.

Fernando Torres’ demise since moving to Chelsea from Liverpool in a £50 million deal has been well documented, as the once devastating forward has lost confidence, his pace and a real threat in front of goal. With Jose Mourinho back in the Blues hotseat and domestic and European domination the goal, the team’s situation in attack needs to be addressed.

It is believed that Chelsea are in the market for a new top-quality forward, however the boat has sailed on reported targets Radamel Falcao and Edinson Cavani, as Ligue 1’s big-spenders snapped the South American pair up. Others such as Wayne Rooney have been linked, but Mourinho’s latest comments suggest that the club may well make do with what they have, and look to reinvent Torres.

“We know Torres’ game. When we see Torres with his back to goal surrounded by two or three opponents, we know that he is not going to produce a piece of magic. But this is Torres. We want the team not to learn how to play with him, but to improve how to play with him.

“We won’t re-model his game, it is impossible to re-model his game. But we want to adapt the team and teach the team how to use his best qualities, because his game is his game.

“He is not a kid any more, he is at an age where it is difficult to change his play. He is what he is and he is very good with the qualities that he has got. So we need to learn and support his game.

“I feel he is highly motivated, he works very hard. I think some of the work we do with the team in terms of attack suits his qualities.

“So let’s see what happens. We are here to support him.”

Torres started to show signs of recovery last season, and under Rafa Benitez began to regain some of his confidence, with improved performances coming as a result. That said, his eight goals last season shows that he is a long way away from returning to the player that he once was, and a similar return this season will be nowhere near good enough to fire the Blues into contention for honours.

There is a feeling that Chelsea were outgunned financially by Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain in the hunt for Falcao and Cavani, and should the Blues fail in their attempts to convince United to sell Rooney, Torres will be an important player for the Blues next term.

That said, Torres is not guaranteed a starting berth, with Demba Ba and an ever-improving Romelu Lukaku to contend with for the lone striker role.

The Spaniard’s fate will largely depend on the personnel that the club have at their disposal at the close of the transfer window. Should the like of Rooney or another big-name striker be added, Torres could be reduced to fleeting appearances from the bench.

If this is set to be the case, it would be best for both parties for Torres to be allowed to return to his homeland for a fresh start. Former club Atletico Madrid would be a sensible destination, and a partnership in attack with David Villa would be an intriguing one.

Should Torres stay at Chelsea he will need the support that Mourinho speaks of, because he may well spend the bulk of next season on the fringes.

image: © wshjackson

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