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?
Should Chelsea sell or trade Fernando Torres?
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.
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.