Jose Mourinho has hailed Fernando Torres’s return to form following the striker’s recent run of form, admitting the Spaniard could be a crucial part of Chelsea’s hopes this season. Torres has never fulfilled his potential at Chelsea since his £50 million move from Liverpool three years ago, but the striker has began showing glimpses of his former self under Mourinho this season, scoring eight goals in all competitions during the first half of the season.
With Chelsea’s strikers often coming in for criticism during the first half of the season – not helped by the prolific form of on-loan Romelu Lukaku for Everton (the on-loan frontman is an outside bet at 9/1 to finish the season top goalscorer) – Mourinho will be hoping that Torres can continue his encouraging form since the beginning of 2014 and score the goals that help the club finish among some silverware at the end of the season.
“Fernando scored against Southampton and against Hull. He is enjoying his football more than the last couple of years,” said Mourinho.
“The goals are coming and he is doing what we want him to do: press defenders, hold the ball, wait for support, get behind defenders and he scored. It is important for him but more important for us.”
Chelsea’s lack of goals from their strikers has been compensated for by the regular goalscoring of a number of midfielders, with Eden Hazard and Oscar producing 18 goals between them. While Hazard and Oscar will need to continue their form in front of goal if Chelsea are going to be able to maintain their push for the Premier League title, with the Blues now 10/3 with Paddy Power to win the league, Mourinho will know Torres and the rest of the club’s strikers will need to step up to the plate and start pulling their weight sooner rather than later.