Yesterday, Fernando Torres completed a permanent move to AC Milan from Chelsea. Today, it has been revealed that the Spaniard will join boyhood club Atletico Madrid from the Italian giants on loan until June 2016.
— Fernando Torres (@Torres) December 29, 2014
We analyse why this move is good for all parties involved i.e. Chelsea, AC Milan, Atletico Madrid and, of course, Torres himself.
It’s seven years since he left the Spanish capital for Liverpool, and it has truly been an extraordinary ride for Torres in England. He set the record for being the highest ever foreign goalscorer in his debut season, netting 24 times in the 2007-08 campaign. He went from strength to strength in a Reds’ shirt, spending three and a half years at Anfield, and scoring 81 goals in all competitions. During this time, he also won the European Championship and the World Cup with the Spanish national side.
Despite him struggling with injury, Chelsea put in a bid of £50 million in January 2011, breaking the British record transfer fee in the process. The expectations at Stamford Bridge were high, and so was the pressure. Unfortunately, both these factors got the better of Torres.
After signing, he went 14 games and 903 minutes without scoring, before finally netting against West Ham United. His struggles continued though, as he failed to find the back of the net again that season.
While the Chelsea fans remained supportive, it was apparent by now that Torres would never return to the heights he scaled as a Liverpool player. Another below-par season followed, and even though Torres famously scored the equaliser against Barcelona to send Chelsea through to the Champions League final, his return of 11 goals in 49 games was dismal by his standards. His best scoring campaign with the Blues was in 2013/14, when he notched up 22 in 64 games.
As of last year, he ended with 45 goals in 172 games for Chelsea. A return of almost a goal every four games is certainly not what the Blues paid £50 million for.
Diego Costa’s arrival in the summer, along with Didier Drogba’s return meant that Torres’ career at Stamford Bridge looked well and truly over.
A loan move to AC Milan in August was followed by another disappointing and barren stint, with Torres scoring just once in his 10 appearances for the Italian giants. Now, in just a couple of days, the complexion of his future has been dramatically changed.
At Atletico Madrid, he is still a cult icon. This was clearly exemplified by the reaction he got when Chelsea visited the Vicente Calderon in the Champions League last season. Also, Torres’ refusal to celebrate when he scored against the Rojiblancos at Stamford Bridge in the second-leg shows the respect and feelings he still has for them.
What once promised to be an illustrious career and hobbled off the rails and collapsed in the last few seasons. This move back to his hometown is the perfect opportunity for Torres to banish the ghost of his Chelsea years and once again prove that he is a top striker. At the age of 30, time is still very much on his side to complete the turnaround.
At 19, he was named Atletico’s captain. He was the main man, the goalscoring machine who could do it all. The fellow players loved him, and the fans looked up to him. Atletico did their best to keep him amidst wide interest from several Premier League clubs. Unfortunately, a £25 million bid from Liverpool proved too hard to resist in the end.
Now, he’s back where he belongs. A lot of his good work and performances have been forgotten due to his torrid time at Chelsea. It is time for him to remind everyone just how good he is.