Chelsea Should Show Torres the Door

Kevin StottSenior Analyst IMarch 14, 2012

Things still aren't looking up for El Nino at Stamford Bridge.
Things still aren't looking up for El Nino at Stamford Bridge.Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

The numbers don’t lie. Chelsea just hasn’t been the same team since acquiring Fernando Torres last January.

Due to his ineptness on the pitch—just five goals in all competitions since coming to Stamford Bridge (Barcelona’s Lionel Messi had seven last week)—the $80M (USD) striker is seldom in the Blues' starting lineup.

Since El Nino (“The Kid”) joined what was once recognized as one of the planet’s best clubs, Chelsea has been average at best. The Blues have struggled through one of their worst spells in recent memory, going 12-8-7 in all competitions since November.

One can’t help but think an established vet like Nicolas Anelka might not have fled to play for Shanghai Shenua in the Chinese Super League had Torres not left Liverpool last season for West London. And Solomon Kalou’s playing time has dwindled since Torres’ arrival.

Analysts have been debating over the past year whether Chelsea should play veteran star Didier Drogba or Torres, but anyone who watches the squad can see the team plays much better, and is more confident, when the Ivory Coast international is on the pitch.

Besides not being able to put the ball in the back of the net—Chelsea has paid $16M a goal for Torres to date—the offensive flow suffers when he plays. He’s incredibly tentative and seems to have trouble controlling passes on the break. His feet often fail him and the lack of confidence shows all over his face.

So what to do?

It’s simple. Chelsea needs to cut its losses before it gets any uglier and send the Spaniard packing. Rumors of a deal for AC Milan’s Robinho and Barcelona’s David Villa as well as a move to try to get Porto’s Hulk (ESPN Soccernet) or Napoli’s Edinson Cavani have floated around lately.

A straight swap to send the 27-year-old back to his former club Atletico Madrid for Colombian international Radamel Falcao has also been rumored in the last month (Caughtoffside).

Bringing any one of those talents to Chelsea would be the best remedy in the future for a team that’s slowly devolved into a shadow of its former self.

> Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinStott11

Kevin Stott has written for the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s View Newspapers and Gaming Today and is not to be confused with the soccer referee of the same name.