Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has dropped a major hint that Fernando Torres is still considered his first choice striker by revealing the team are going to play to the Spaniards strengths in the new campaign.
Here is a snippet of what Jose Mourinho told Sky Sports: “I think some of the work we do with the team in terms of attack suits his qualities. We are here to support him.
“Usually when he is clear, he scores that goal – but he has missed (recently). We know that this is Torres’ game.
“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.
“We want the team not to learn how to play with him, but to improve how to play with him. He is working very hard in training, we are happy with him.
“His game is impossible to remodel. But we want to adapt the team and teach the team how to use his best qualities.
The fact that the Chelsea boss is talking about adapting to suit Torres’ style suggests that he will be first choice striker in the new campaign. Torres’ main qualities were that he would get himself into positions to score and more often than not he would.
However, in the last few years he has been missing chances that he would score at the height of his career. The Spaniard still has it in his locker to score goals and his goal return last season was an improvement on the previous season.
Torres has had to take a lot of stick from opposition fans, but even worse from his own fans, even to the point where fans of other clubs were actually supporting the Spanish international. Torres should have produced more since his British-record £50million move from Liverpool though.
Even though he probably would not like to admit it the price tag seems to have weighed heavy on his shoulders. In games last season you could see Torres trying his heart out, but it just was not happening for him.
There definitely seems to be a psychological problem with Torres. It seems strange for a man who cost £50million to lack confidence, but he has in his time at Chelsea. In the last few months of last season he started to show flashes of the old dangerous Fernando Torres.
Jose Mourinho’s first spell at Chelsea was characterised by his strong relationship with his players. He is just the sort of manager that Torres needs, a manager that will instil confidence in the striker, just like Rafa Benitez did in the past.
Mourinho coming out and stating that he wants to adapt to Torres’ game surely gives the striker a boost of confidence ahead of the new season.
Torres faces competition for his position at Stamford Bridge. Last season he had competition from Demba Ba, who in truth was a disappointment after making a bright start to his career on arrival from Newcastle in January.
Ba currently does not look capable of leading the Chelsea attack. The move to Chelsea just does not seem to have worked out for the Senegalese international. There is even speculation in the press that he could leave this summer.
The main competition for Torres’ place in the team is unlikely to come from Ba though; it is more likely to come from young man-mountain Romelu Lukaku. The 20-year-old was outstanding on-loan at West Brom last season, where he plundered 17 Premier League goals for the Baggies.
The young Belgians performance last season for West Brom proved that he is ready to play first team football on a regular basis. Of course Lukaku is still young and has much to learn, but he really does seem to have all the natural attributes to become a truly world-class striker.
Another player that could rival Torres for the striking spot is new arrival Andre Schurrle, who arrived from Bayer Leverkusen this summer. The Germany international is very versatile and can play in most attacking positions.
However, the 22-year-old may be eased into the English game, as he adapts to life at a new club in a new country and league.
It really would not surprise me if Fernando Torres had a bit more success in front of goal this season. By all accounts he has looked sharper in pre-season and obviously has the backing of his manager. If Torres could just find some of that deadly finishing that he produced during his early Liverpool days, Mourinho could have a very dangerous striker on his hands once again.
Will Fernando Torres be successful this season?