And after a low-key debut against Liverpool where the tactics of both sides were analysed to death (although few remembered that Steve Clarke, the former Chelsea assistant coach, now works with Dalglish), it’s worth remembering another record signing who took more than just a few games (almost two seasons to be exact) to find his feet at his new ‘big’ club – Dimitar Berbatov (who is, according to the latest sports betting from BetUS, odds-on favourite to finish top goalscorer in the Premier League this season – what a turnaround from the last two seasons!).
Like Torres, Berbatov angled for a move away from Tottenham when he realised that a) Tottenham weren’t good enough at the time to challenge for the league title and b) there was a bigger club waiting to sign him. Although Berbatov didn’t suffer from as poor a run in form before his move as Torres, he took his bloody time at making a transition from being the most important player for his club to being one of three-four strikers the manager could call upon.
The similarities with Berbatov are there in age too – Berbatov was 27 when he moved to United, and called it his final move in his career (or his final ‘big’ move, in any case). Torres will turn 27 in March, and with his contract he’s unlikely to be pitching up tent anywhere else for the next 3-4 years.
Torres, like Berbatov before his move to Manchester United, was always given the main striking duties for his club. His role at Chelsea is different, and he’ll take time to adapt. For the sake of Chelsea fans, hopefully it will be this season or at worst, start of next season. He’s already proving to be a valuable commercial asset selling plenty of shirts, but for a player who aspires to challenge for titles, he’ll need to start scoring goals soon.
With other quality strikers alongside him he may not reach the same prolific heights as he did for that season with Liverpool, but terrorise Vidic again and score 20 goals every season and you’ve more or less paid back your transfer fee…in about 5 years. Unless he helps them win the league title or the Big Cup, although looking at Chelsea’s squad they’ll need to improve performances or strengthen again if they are to mount a convincing challenge for either title.