Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has conceded his surprise at the ‘sharp’ decline of Chelsea-owned Fernando Torres.
The Spain international was one of the best strikers in Europe during his time at Liverpool, but he has been on the way south following his £50 million move to Chelsea in January 2011.
Torres was offloaded to AC Milan on a two-year loan deal in the summer transfer window, but even in Italy the 30-year-old has continued to struggled.
Writing in The London Evening Standard, Scholes revealed that he would have loved to play with Torres when he was at best and seemed mystified by the decline of the former Atletico Madrid star.
“I watched the Milan derby on Sunday and it seems that things haven’t changed much for Fernando Torres,” wrote the former England international.
“He has scored one goal all season, in his second game against Empoli, and it was the same on Sunday: no goal and substituted on 73 minutes.
“What has happened to Torres is remarkable. From the player he was in 2009, when he gave Nemanja Vidic such a hard time at Old Trafford, to the player he has become, has been one of those mysteries in football.
“I realise that at times at Chelsea, especially in 2012-13, he did have some decent goalscoring runs. But overall the decline has been sharp.
"At his best he was the kind of player I would have loved to have had at United. Then things changed for him at Chelsea.”
Over the past three-and-a-half years, Torres has been the butt of many jokes, but there can be no doubt that he was one of the best strikers in the world for a number of years.
But it has simply not been happening for the Spaniard for the past three or so years. He is still 30 years of age, but it seems that he is ‘finished’.