Like many Chelsea fans, the decision to send Romelu Lukaku on loan to Everton on transfer deadline day puzzled me, however, could this be the cause of Fernando Torres’ rebirth?
Jose Mourinho has always been known to get the best out of his players, and sending Torres’ main rival for the starting position out on loan would do an awful lot for a player who thrives on confidence.
It sends a clear message to the player: I’ve showed faith in you to score goals that win us titles, now it is up to you to repay that faith.
Something we started to see against Spurs’ before the very harsh sending off for jumping in front of Jan Vertonghen. However despite starting on the bench against Cardiff City, Torres’ introduction (along with Oscar’s) changed the attacking dynamic of the team.
Even after Jose reverted back to 4-2-3-1 following Samuel Eto’o’s first Chelsea goal, Chelsea looked more likely to score, and that they did.
Then came Tuesday’s vital Champions League clash with Schalke, where Torres played a role in all three goals. His sharpness and awareness to head home the opening goal. His control and calmness to round the ‘keeper for the second. His fitness and pace to open up space for Eden Hazard to complete the victory.
A superb individual performance, in my personal opinion, his best in a Chelsea shirt.
To be fair to Torres, he has worked incredibly hard on his fitness, which if rumours are to be believed concerning his knee, has always plagued him. The results of his hard work showing for Hazard’s goal, a run which Hazard was quick to appreciate after a Didier Drogba inspired celebration.
Last season, under his former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez, who openly admitted to changing the playing style to suit Torres, saw the £50 million striker finish the clubs top scorer, in a season which saw the club win the Europa League and secure Champions League football again.
Of course this would have inspired Torres to do more, but a summer of speculation of the potential signing of Edinson Cavani or Radamel Falcao or any other top striker in Europe, could have left the Spaniard wondering if he really was Chelsea’s number 9.
Then with Lukaku impressing on his loan spell at West Brom, the striker’s berth really was up for grabs, and being a master at dealing with situations, Mourinho saw this is a perfect opportunity to reinvigorate Torres.
With Lukaku still young and needing to play regular first team football to learn his trade, a loan move to another Premier League club was the right thing to do.
Although shortly after the move, when Chelsea’s strikers were failing to score, and Lukaku was finding the net, the decision did look questionable, but come the end of the season, I think Jose will be proved right on this one.
I know it’s only been a few games, and the season is a very long one, but nobody can deny what we have seen from Torres is different than anything we have seen before.
If Torres can stay clear of injuries (and suspensions) than I’m confident he will be the clubs top scorer this season, and will be up there for the Premier League golden boot as well.
God knows it’s taken time, but finally the decision to spend so much on one player seems to make at least some sense, and with players such as Hazard, Oscar and Mata around him, how can Torres not succeed?
More recently, more speculation has started about the potential signing of Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa, however if Chelsea were going to sign a world class striker, they would have in the summer.
If Torres can continue his recent uplift in form, Mourinho will have enough faith in his current squad to see them through till the end of the season.
And if we are successful, it will be down to the goals of Fernando Torres.