New Chelsea manager Andre Villa-Boas recently told the media that the Blues intend to target ‘value’ signings, as opposed to expensive big-name signings – a statement that has come about following several failed high profile bids, for Tottenham playmaker Luka Modric.
The most recent offer that Chelsea put forward to Spurs was £27 million, an offer believed to be well below the valuation that the chairman, Daniel Levy, has of the player.
But this is one player that Villa-Boas should throw everything at acquiring, as Modric could very well prove to be the key to unlocking the awesome abilities of their £50 million star striker, Fernando Torres.
To say that Fernando Torres struggled at Chelsea last term, after his £50 million move from Liverpool in January, is an extremely generous summation. Torres was a shadow of his former self, managing to score just a single goal in 14 appearances for the London outfit.
There are many reasons why Torres was unable to have an impact for his new team. Part of his failure can be simply put down to joining a new club in the middle of a campaign, but some reasons for the disappointment are more permanent.
Several seasons ago Torres was able to stand on the shoulder of the last defender and beat them with pure pace 99 times out of 100. The ball didn’t have to be particularly precise; such was the agility and speed of Torres.
But with the numerous hamstring injuries that Torres has suffered, he has clearly lost a yard or two of pace, unable to simply outsprint defenders like he once did. The fans at Stamford Bridge may sadly never see this brilliant footballer in his absolute prime, but the Spaniard still has enough of the attributes required to make him one of the best centre forwards in the English Premier League.
What Torres needs to excel as a goal scorer is a brilliant playmaker, someone that can understand and provide that killer pass for him. At Liverpool that player was Steven Gerrard.
During their prime years of playing together, it was some of the most exciting football to watch in the Premier League. Gerrard had an innate understanding of Torres, and Torres of Gerrard. The duo terrorised even the best defenders in the competition, and during their brilliant spell together, the Reds came desperately close to clinching their first title in almost two decades.
There is no player currently at Stamford Bridge that can deliver at the same level as Gerrard did – but Modric can.
The must-do deal
It is understandable why Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich may be hesitant to splash out more cash this summer, seeing as the club spent £80 million on just two players in January – £50 million on Torres and £30 million on David Luiz.
But buying Torres without having a playmaker means that Torres may not improve his poor goal scoring record from last season at Stamford Bridge, irrespective of whether or not he successfully gets through the pre-season injury free. The Spaniard is a lethal finisher, but he simply does need a playmaker with vision to support him, otherwise his impact will constantly be minimal on the pitch.
Torres is not like Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney, who endured an extremely poor spell himself last term, as the Englishman is a lot more mobile around the pitch. Blues fans won’t see Torres making a desperate lunging tackle at left-back like Red Devil fans see Rooney make at Old Trafford week in, week out.
The Modric deal is quite frankly a must do one for Villa-Boas, even if it means offloading other long serving Chelsea players. Their significant investment in Torres must be complimented by the signing of a world class creative midfielder, and therefore the Blues have no choice but to throw everything at Modric, in order to enhance the immediate future of the club.
Is Luka Modric vital for Torres and Chelsea’s ambitions this season?