Fernando Torres became the most expensive player in British football history in January 2011 when he left Liverpool for Chelsea for a transfer fee of £50 million.
At the time, the Spain international was regarded as one of the best strikers in the world, having played a crucial role in his country’s Euro 2008 and 2010 World Cup triumphs.
However, at Chelsea, it simply did not happen for Torres, who moved to AC Milan on a two-year loan deal on Saturday.
But Torres’s decline in the last three-and-a-half years has not been a surprise to his former Liverpool teammate Jamie Carragher.
‘The Torres who joined Chelsea in January 2011, though, was not the same forward who arrived from Atletico Madrid and we had seen the deterioration in him over his final 18 months at Anfield’, the ex-England international defender wrote in the Daily Mail.
‘He suffered some knee and hamstring injuries and when explosive players like him are hindered by such problems, it is difficult to recapture the spark...
‘People wondered why he couldn’t do for Chelsea what he had initially done for Liverpool but we were never surprised.
‘If anything, we were pleased with the £50m transfer fee we received for him, even if we didn’t reinvest it properly’.
In hindsight, it was a bad move for Chelsea, but at the time it was easy to understand why they paid so much money for Torres.
Despite his injury problems, Torres was a proven goalscorer in the Premier League and was young enough (at the time) to merit a big transfer fee.
Despite all of the well-documented failures of Torres at Chelsea, he will go down in history as one of the most decorated and successful players of all time.
After all, not many players can say that they have won the European Championship (twice!), the World Cup, the Champions League and the Europa League.