Fernando Torres warrants a deal to keep him at Atletico Madrid beyond this season, according to Diego Forlan.
Torres is on loan at Atletico until the end of the season, when his contract with parent club AC Milan also expires.
The 32-year-old ended a barren run of almost five months to score his 100th goal for the club in the 3-1 win over Eibar on February 6 and has since converted a further five times.
Three of those have come in his last three appearances and Forlan – a Pichichi winner with Atletico in 2008-09 – feels the form he has shown makes him worthy of a permanent contract.
“It’s very important for the people and he is a player who is performing, is physically well, is scoring goals,” the Uruguayan told Cope.
“It is not a matter of renewing a player because he is from the club and has known it all of his life. In a team playing 60 games a year, he will play 35 or 40 and can help with goals or assists.”
Torres will sit out Atletico’s Champions League quarter-final second leg against Barcelona on Wednesday after he was sent off having opened the scoring in the 2-1 first-leg defeat and Forlan believes Diego Simeone’s side will feel his absence.
“It is an important loss, not only for the quality of the player, but due to the damage he has done to the club throughout his career,” he said.
“The sending off could have been avoided. He knows you have to be very careful in these kind of games.”
Atletico moved to within three points of Liga leaders Barca, who suffered a 1-0 defeat to Real Sociedad in on Saturday with Luis Suarez absent due to suspension.
Forlan felt Luis Enrique’s lacked the same threat in attack without his compatriot and warned his former side against approaching the second leg in a casual manner.
“They missed Luis Suarez. When Neymar is more outside and [Lionel] Messi is away from the area, Luis is the one who stays and does the dirty work: creating space, annoying, fighting,” he added.
“He’s a difficult player to defend against because he is very strong and is very dangerous.
“It is true they are not at their best, but they are a wounded lion. It’s complicated when you have an opponent of this magnitude, with players as destabilising.”
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