Fernando Torres

With Fernando Torres’s Chelsea career seemingly coming to a close after a spectacular and almost unheard of fall from grace, it’s about time he returns to his first home and the place he first fell in love with the game. Plenty have deliberated over what happened to the Torres that had a Games/Goals ratio of 1.75 and what could be done to resurrect the form that made him the most expensive Premier League transfer of all time, narrowly beating the mighty Andy Carroll to the poison chalice. One of the theories that pops up is a return to his former stomping grounds. With his most recent previous employers implementing a focus on youth and cutting the wage bill Liverpool does not seem a reasonable option. Athletico Madrid on the other hand are currently struggling to show how they can keep hold of their prize asset Falcao and will need to replace their latest talisman if he leaves this summer.

Atletico’s current manager Diego Simeone has this week hinted at having an interest in signing the player indicating Fernando Torres’s previous team mate clearly still sees the talented player that he played alongside 10 years ago. When people look at the fall of Torres’s form they often refer to the striking difference between his demeanor at the start of his Liverpool career when compared to when his final games in a red shirt and the whole period playing for Chelsea. It is clear he is struggling and no longer enjoying his football. Rafa Benitez was able to create the spark in his fellow Spaniard that has been lost since, even with the pair reuniting at Chelsea, Torres no longer has the love for the game he had when stepping onto the pitch at the Vicente Calderón Stadium. The football world has seen numerous players make what looks like a career defining move only to realise that a step back may be the only way of recapturing form, Ian rush and Mark Hughes are two such successful examples.

Every striker needs consistency if they are to achieve what Torres did while at Liverpool, consistency and love are the key ingredients that have been missing during Torres’s Chelsea stay. Signed as a replacement for the still employed fan favourite Drogba meant Torres needed to be nothing short of sublime to be loved by the Chelsea faithful and considered a worthy number 9. The pressure of a £50 million price tag, the expectation of the fans and the immediate need to recapture his Liverpool form was too much. Fernando as such was never loved by his home fans and could never find the consistency needed to score goals on a weekly basis.

The next step for Torres then needs to be a step back, a step back into the club that raised him as a player and made him their captain at the tender age of 19. With Falcao looking like this summer’s big transfer, there will be a talismanic shaped hole in the Atletico Madrid strike force that Simeone wants Torres to fill. If the rumours are to be believed Abramovich is chomping at the bit to make another marquee signing, ignoring the talent he has on loan and at youth level, and Falcao is his chosen target. This would open the door even further as Torres would most likely be offered up as part of a cash plus player deal for the Colombian. With the transfer looking possible as long as Torres’s wage demands can be met by the Spanish club, the only stumbling block is Torres’s form.

With Simeone seemingly still believing in the players ability and a set of fans ready to welcome Fernando home we will finally be able to establish if love from both the stands and his manager is what Torres has been missing or has he simply lost the confidence to the point he will never recapture it again.

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This article was first posted on March 25, 2013