Sir Alex Ferguson has criticised Chelsea for signing Fernando Torres for then-British-record transfer fee of £50m from Liverpool in 2011.
The legendary former Manchester United manager in his new book titled ‘Leading’ says Chelsea have impulsively paid that hefty transfer fee for Torres.
In a section called ‘Frugality’, Ferguson revealed, via Daily Star: “Even [my] very worst are not in the same postal code as some of the biggest blunders in the Premier League, such as the £50m that Chelsea impulsively paid for Fernando Torres.”
Torres enjoyed the best spell of his career at Liverpool, but the Spaniard left the Reds in the January window of 2011 and moved to Chelsea for then British transfer record fee. While he did won silverware with the London club, but personally he endured a frustrating spell at the club. Ferguson himself has made some bad errors in the transfer market, but he believes the signing of Torres was one of the worst ever transfer done in the Premier League era.
For a manager, who has managed United for over 27 years with great distinction, there was always to be few transfers that never quite came off. For instance, the £30m signing of Dimitar Berbatov and £28m for Juan Sebastian Veron can be seen as major errors made by him. But Torres’s case was completely different.
The Spaniard, affectionately known as El Nino, was undoubtedly playing at his prime form during his spell with Liverpool. He joined Chelsea with a reputation of being one of the best strikers in Europe at that moment, and therefore very few had expected him to flop miserably, including the Liverpool fans.
Ferguson is right here. Somehow it didn’t click for Torres. He couldn’t adapt to the new systems, while he wasn’t the focal point of the Chelsea attack anymore.
Torres is now at Atletico for his second spell at the Spanish club and the Spaniard is enjoying a decent campaign under Diego Simeone. He has regained the trust of his manager and warmly received by the fans.
Despite having forwards like Antoine Griezmann, Jackson Martinez and Luciano Vietto, Torres has been given the responsibility to shoulder the attack, and he has duly responded. He has scored two goals already, including strike against Barcelona in La Liga early this month.
Ferguson in his new book has admitted that during his managerial career, he has missed the opportunity of signing some of the top players in the world like Sergio Aguero, Didier Drogba, Ronaldo (Brazilian) and Petr Cech, while he revealed in his previous book that he also tried to sign Fernando Torres before the Spaniard joined Liverpool.
One cannot help but think if Ferguson was presented the opportunity to sign Torres back in 2011, had he not taken the gamble? In all probability, yes. The strong rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester United meant, the deal would have never materialised, even if Ferguson came up with a record transfer offer for Torres.