Is Fernando Torres finally getting back to his best at Chelsea?

The Spaniard netted twice for the west London side against Schalke in the Champions League, and has looked much improved over the last month.

Chelsea have craved a top-class forward to replace Didier Drogba over the last 12 months, with a number of players trying to live up to the legacy of the Ivory Coast international.

However, since the African’s departure after the Champions League glory of 2011-12, the Blues have failed to field a centre forward that has consistently scored and that can fire them to competing for the biggest honours once more.

Despite the summer capture of Samuel Eto’o, Fernando Torres looks like the man that will lead the west London club’s attack this term and continued a rich vein of form with a brace against Schalke in the Champions League last night.

With an experienced back four and midfield options galore, it appears that a striker that can consistently hit the back of the net and convert the created chances is the missing piece of the jigsaw at Stamford Bridge.

Torres’ slump in form since moving to Chelsea from Liverpool has been publicly covered at length, the Spaniard seeming losing his pace, reputation and confidence.

However, this season when given a chance, Torres has looked like the international-quality centre forward that Chelsea wanted when they shelled out such an astronomical transfer fee.

His pace may well not be as devastating as what it was in his Liverpool days, but he looks very sharp and seems to have added a real competitive and determined side to his game of late.

Torres shone against Tottenham in the Premier League before being unluckily sent off, terrorising Michael Dawson and Jan Vertonghen with shows of skill and clever movement.

These impressive attributes were on show again in Gelsenkirchen last night, and it appears that Torres is ready to hit back at his doubters and show his class.

When Roman Abramovich paid such an astronomical fee for the Spaniard, it was perceived that Torres would be the man to fire Chelsea to domestic and European dominance.

Although not as devastating and dynamic a player as he was a couple of seasons ago, the new Fernando Torres seems to have arrived and is just what the Blues need in the final third of the pitch at the moment.

image: © wshjackson

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch