A few short months ago, Chelsea fans were doubting whether Fernando Torres could replace Didier Drogba in leading the Blues' attack in the 2012-2013 season. Drogba had just completed a move to Chinese Super League's Shanghai Shenhua after a 13-goal haul, and with rumors linking Hulk, Eden Hazard and Edinson Cavani to Stamford Bridge, Torres was being quickly relegated to bench duty in the minds of many.
Fast forward to August 25. Torres has just scored his second goal in as many games, his third overall this season, and has helped to lead Chelsea to an unbeaten start to their Premier League campaign.
"The confidence is back because I'm playing more," said Torres in an interview with BBC Sport,
Those words will inspire the Chelsea faithful to dream of glory, while simultaneously bringing nightmares to rival supporters.
Make no mistake: This is not a false return of form that has taunted both Torres and his fans since his arrival at Chelsea in January of 2011. Back then, expectations of the star striker were sky high and realistically unobtainable. Coming into a system that was built for power and physicality, succeeding was never in the cards for El Nino. A new-look system with emphasis on flair, movement without the ball and a build-up, attacking mindset is exactly what Torres needed.
It's just what he got this summer with the arrival of Chelsea's embarrassment of attacking options. Not only will the Blues have Torres and Hazard lining up against opposing defenses, they also have the luxury of calling on any combination of Frank Lampard, Juan Mata, Oscar, Victor Moses, Raul Meireles and Ramires, to name a few.
This plethora of players will allow Chelsea to be a constant threat to other teams without having to rely on one or two main cogs to turn the attacking wheel. This will allow them to compete on multiple fronts easily, and it will give Fernando Torres the opportunity to play with fresh support every time he steps foot onto a pitch.
"It's great to have players like Hazard here," Torres explained after his side's 2-0 win over Newcastle United. "It's a privilege to play with Juan Mata and Hazard."
Confidence from a star like Torres will inspire confidence in his teammates, and their ambition will build with every passing victory. Time will tell whether or not this Chelsea team will be able to duplicate or improve on the successes of last season. One thing is certain, though: A reinvigorated Fernando Torres will be leading the line this season, and that will be a sight to behold.
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