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Muntari: Departing Chelsea striker Torres is 'one of the top players'

Sulley Muntari labelled teammate Fernando Torres 'one of the top players' following the news he would sign for, and then leave, AC Milan on loan for Atletico Madrid

AC Milan midfielder Sulley Muntari has praised Fernando Torres and told reporters that, despite the disappointment of his pending loan exit, he believes the Spaniard can return to his best.

''It's a pity that he's leaving because he's one of the top players,'' Muntari told Gulf News.

''Aside from being a great player, he's also a great man and a really, really great lad. We've had a great six months with him, but that's part of football, you get moved to another club and exchanged like food. 

''It's normal, it's part of it. I just wish him luck and hope that he becomes the Torres we all know he is.'' 

According to the BBC, the 30-year-old will officially leave Chelsea for Milan on the 5th January 2015, but will quickly be on the move again in the same transfer window, signing on a loan deal with former club Atletico Madrid.

The report states: '' Chelsea and Spain striker Fernando Torres will join AC Milan on a permanent basis on 5 January. Torres, 30, moved to the Serie A club on a two-year loan deal in August and will now make his move permanent. 

''BBC Sport understands he will be loaned out to former club Atletico Madrid next month, with Italy winger Alessio Cerci, 27, arriving from the Spanish side.'' 

Torres has struggled to adapt to life in Italy since moving to Milan on loan, scoring only once in 10 appearances, so will obviously be keen to return to Spain, where he made his name, in order to get his career back on track.

Since moving from Liverpool to Chelsea for £50m in January 2011, Torres has never looked the same player. He went on to make 110 Premier League appearances for the Blues, but could only accumulate a goal return of 20 goals - one goal every 5.5 Premier League matches or £2.5 million for every Premier League goal scored. 

The move to Italy was seen as the fresh break the former Ballon d'Or nominee needed, however, six months down the line and it couldn't have gone much worse for the struggling attacker.

Nevertheless, the move back to Atletico Madrid in La Liga, the place where it all began for Torres, could offer the perfect platform to see him kickstart his career. On the other hand, after years of failing to measure up to expectations, a flop in Spain could leave the striker, and supporters, questioning what his next move should be. 

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