If Roy Hodgson thought that Chelsea were going to give up hope of signing Fernando Torres after yesterday’s declaration that their Spanish strike star wasn’t for sale, hopefully he’s a patient man.
According to a Chelsea ‘source’, Chelsea are set to test Liverpool’s resolve – and the Liverpool manager’s patience – by making a £50m bid for Torres. The Blues have already seen a £40m bid rejected earlier this month, but as per the source, that nor Torres’ most recent run-in with the injury bug will deter their efforts. It’s true Liverpool have knocked back the first bid of £40m but it’s highly unlikely that will be the end to it.
When you consider Torres’ importance, it’s easy to see why even a 50m offer could be dismissed without a second thought.
Last season, Torres played in only 22 Premier League games due to three different spells on the sidelines. In those 22 games, Liverpool had a record of 12 wins, eight draws, and two losses, which is nothing to write home about, as was Liverpool’s overall record last season.
But when Torres scored, Liverpool had a record of 10 wins and three defeats. The three defeats? At home to Aston Villa, who were the third best away side in the league, away to Fulham, who were one of the best home sides in the league, and away to Manchester United, who are Manchester United.
So, in the other 25 games (the 16 he missed and the nine he didn’t score in), Liverpool had a record of nine wins, eight losses, and eight draws.
Overall, in his three seasons at the club, Liverpool are 34-3-3 when Torres scores. On the flip side, when he doesn’t score (or has missed a game), Liverpool are 31-14-29. Safe to say then, when the results are good for Torres, the results are more often than not good for Liverpool.
However, if an offer of £50m or more came in for Torres, if I were Roy Hodgson, the least I could do is consider it. As important as Torres is when he’s fit and in form, there’s about as much if as there is when in that equation.
Over the last two seasons, Torres has missed 30 games. Of course you have to factor in the need for rest and Rafa’s rotation policies, but when you consider his amount of league appearances has dwindled from 33 to 24 to 22 over his three seasons, the red flag’s a-waving…especially when Torres is, look at that, injured yet again and might not be 100% when Liverpool dive headfirst into their Premier League campaign against Arsenal.
And when the opportunity arises to a) alleviate some of the club’s financial issues, and more importantly, b) significantly strengthen the squad in multiple areas, why not consider it? Even if all of the funds from such a sale aren’t allocated to Hodgson for strengthening the squad, there’s a lot that can be done with even £30m or £35m.
Liverpool have already signed a new forward in Milan Jovanovic (who can also play as a winger), and Nice’s Loic Remy looks to be on his way to Anfield soon. With the funds from the sale of Torres, Liverpool could hastily complete the Remy deal, sign another versatile forward (Bryan Ruiz, perhaps), and add further depth to the defense and midfield. And that’s not even taking into consideration the funds that will come from the impending sale of Emiliano Insua, the likely sale of Albert Riera, and the potential sale of Ryan Babel.
Sure, having one of the world’s best strikers to save you in a pinch is a good thing to have, but having quality and quantity is what will be the real difference maker in a long season full of twists, turns, sprains, and (good and bad) breaks.
If Liverpool want to be more than an also-ran among the Premier League’s upper echelon – yearly contenders in Manchester United, Chelsea, and Arsenal, up-and-comers in Manchester City and Tottenham, and potential threats in Aston Villa and Everton, selling a key individual for the betterment of the team is something that must be considered.
In the end though, if Javier Mascherano’s ignoring of Roy Hodgson’s phone calls is a sign of what‘s about to come, we could see Liverpool still be able to make the necessary adjustments to their squad without helping one of their Premier League rivals in the process.