At the beginning of last season Fernando Torres bemoaned the lack of pace and dynamism in his team’s lineup. Perhaps standing alone in the Chelsea dressing room, he wanted the changes promised by Andre Villas-Boas speeded up. Further on in the season Torres’ lack of goals was partly blamed on the competition for starts he faced with the imperious Didier Drogba. The Spaniard couldn’t get a run of games that would allow him to settle in the side.
This summer both these potential issues were addressed. Didier Drogba departed for China, and Romelu Lukaku, another man capable of playing the lone striker role for Chelsea, was farmed out on loan to West Brom.
Daniel Sturridge has remained at the club, but he is not currently considered a serious challenger to Torres’ position in the starting eleven. Torres’ status as the leading striker at his club is unquestionable, just as it was in his heyday at Liverpool.
In addition to this, Chelsea went out and purchased some of the most exciting attacking midfield talent around. Eden Hazard, for all his annoying twitter hijinx, is an extraordinary talent.
Oscar is simply a beautiful player to watch, standing out even amongst other wonderkids like Neymar and Leandro Damiao in the Brazilian Olympic team. Marko Marin, when fit, is an assist machine, and should provide the support for Torres down the flanks that the likes of Mata are providing through the middle. If that’s not enough, then Victor Moses will create plenty of space for Torres with his rampaging runs at defenders.
All in all, Chelsea now have a team that should be ideally suited to Torres’ requirements. When he stormed down the tunnel after being substituted against QPR, there must have been plenty of strikers in the Premier League looking at the players behind the Spaniard, and wondering what he could possibly have to complain about. Torres clearly still has frustrations, but these now must be at himself, Chelsea have done everything they can to provide him with the platform to score plenty of goals.
Torres now has to take advantage of this. He has plenty of time this season, it is unlikely he will be starting many matches from the bench, and the midfield behind him should become more settled and effective as they play more games together.
Torres can’t have lost his scoring touch entirely, even at Chelsea when he acts on instinct he has shown that he is an astounding natural finisher. Predictions of a scoring deluge when Torres has shown a spark have been consistently disappointed his time at Chelsea, but you have to feel that this time, it really must be around the corner.