Constant rumors of a possible January move to Stamford Bridge for Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao have left Chelsea fans restless. Many hope the move would help nudge embattled striker Fernando Torres out of the Blues’ starting lineup completely.
However, they all seem to be overlooking a very likely possibility: The two could actually thrive will being on the pitch at the same time.
It sounds crazy, but hear me out.
At Chelsea, while Torres has been somewhat productive—six goals in 14 appearances for the Blues—he hasn’t quite yet come to fruition as a day-in day-out goal scoring threat. Paired with the fact that there are no real striker options after Torres and the club’s striker depth is in a state of emergency.
Meanwhile at Atletico Madrid, Falcao has more than proven he can score. The Columbian international has been in sensational form, knocking in 13 goals in nine appearances for El Atletico this season. He is a large reason why the club is currently tied atop the La Liga table.
If the Blues were to strike a deal for the 26-year-old they would essentially be killing two birds with one stone. They’d get the goal scoring threat they desire, while adding depth to their currently thin striker rotation.
It’d be one very expensive stone—reports have Chelsea set to offer as much as 38 million pounds—but hey, nothing good in life comes cheap.
In the likelihood of a deal for Falcao being completed, common logic would see the Columbian replace Torres in manager Roberto Di Matteo’s favored 4-2-3-1 formation.
Would Torres and Falcao play well together?
However, that may not be the best course of action for the Blues.
For starters, there’s Torres’ fragile state of mind.
If Chelsea were to demote the 28-year-old striker to the bench, they might as well be cutting him from the club altogether. In multiple publications throughout the year, Torres has noted that his lack of playing time made him lose his love for the game. He even took it as far as saying that he had no interest in whether Chelsea won or lost.
While it may seem childish, it’s a reality the Blues have to deal with for as long as Torres is on their roster.
Secondly, Falcao could benefit significantly from the new style of play that Torres has implemented during the last year.
Unlike typical “shoot first” mentality that many strikers instill, the former Liverpool man has recently been playing with a more even mindset when it comes to passing the ball or shooting it. It has led to much success for his teammates. In fact, Torres finished second in the club with 16 assists last season.
With opposing defenses most likely having to split coverage between the duo, Torres’ distribution skills could prove lethal.
Finally, when Torres scores it has proven to be somewhat of a lucky charms.
In 165 games where the Spanish international has found the back of the net, his clubs are a combined 136-15-14—11-1-1 with Chelsea, 48-6-7 with Liverpool, 57-7-6 with Atletico Madrid and 20-1-0 with Spain. That adds up to his club winning 82.4 percent of the time, while coming away with points 91.5 percent of the time.
It’s hard to argue against that kind of success.
The only possible roadblock standing in the way of this lethal partnership is the question of what formation would suit them best.
Falcao would play up top as the obvious top choice, with Torres only a little further back on his right. It could be a position where the Spaniard could thrive.
Throughout the season, Torres has shown hustle by coming back towards the midfield in an attempt to win back possession from the opposition. Several times he has succeeded and the Blues have scored from the resulting counter attack—see Juan Mata’s goal against Nordsjaelland.
With Falcao waiting up top, a counter attack could provide nightmares for opponents.
Playing behind the two strikers would be the three-man attacking midfield of Eden Hazard, Mata and Oscar.
In this formation the trio can still move as freely as they would have under the 4-2-3-1 formation the Blues currently utilize. However, this time they’ll have a choice between distributing to Falcao or Torres.
The possibilities from this kind of attack are mouth watering.
Other than nearly eliminating the forward flank movement from Ashley Cole and Branislav Ivanovic, this formation has all the makings of contributing to a formidable attack for the defending champions of Europe.
So before you decide to choose between either Falcao or Torres, first consider the damage the duo could do together.
You can follow Sebastian on Twitter at @SP7988