Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes Fernando Torres has yet to hit his straps in London because his team-mates have not adapted to him.
Torres joined Chelsea from Liverpool in January 2011 for £50million but has scored just 34 goals in 131 appearances for the London-based English Premier League club, prompting plenty of speculation the 29-year-old Spanish striker is past his best.
But Mourinho, who has rejoined Chelsea as manager after five years coaching outside England, is convinced he can get the best out of Torres in the upcoming campaign.
“He (Torres) is not a kid any more, he is at an age where it is difficult to change his play,” Mourinho said after Chelsea’s 2-0 friendly win over Inter Milan on Friday.
“He is what he is and he is very good with the qualities that he has got.
“So we need to learn and support his game.
“I feel he is highly motivated, he works very hard.
“I think some of the work we do with the team in terms of attack suits his qualities.
“So let’s see what happens. We are here to support him.”
While Torres scored 22 goals in all competitions for Chelsea last season, his future with the London club had been in doubt.
Mourinho, however, believes Torres has been forced to play a style of football that does not suit the Spaniard.
Since Mourinho’s first stint in charge at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea have been built around playing with a striker, who can play with his back to goal, like Didier Drogba, but the 50-year-old Portuguese manager believes his side must change their style to see the best of Torres.
“When we see Torres with his back to goal surrounded by two or three opponents, we know that he is not going to produce a piece of magic,” Mourinho said.
“But this is Torres. We want the team not to learn how to play with him but to improve how to play with him.
“We won’t re-model his game, it is impossible to re-model his game.
“But we want to adapt the team and teach the team how to use his best qualities, because his game is his game.”
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