And the reality is that, heading into the 2013 summer transfer window, the Blues need to part ways with El Nino before the situation gets any worse. Regardless of whether Torres is in fact a world-class striker or not doesn't matter—what matters is that the club end the saga as soon as possible.
Put it behind them and move forward into the future.
His well-documented £50 million move from Liverpool to Chelsea hasn't turned out as many would have wanted, and the results haven't been forthcoming.
Torres hasn't fired under Carlo Ancelotti, Andre Villas-Boas, Roberto Di Matteo or even Rafa Benitez this time around, and it hasn't been for a lack of trying by the managers. It's simply been his performances that haven't been up to scratch and his goal-scoring record that hasn't been forthcoming.
Question marks about when he'll come good, why he's never going to come good and what the purchase of Demba Ba mean to the club have dominated this season. Even more so than the ongoing speculation about Benitez's future at Stamford Bridge has been that of Torres' future, and how the club would be much better off without the Spanish international in their midst moving forward.
It's hard to see that constant attention being good for the club. It's incredibly difficult to see it being helpful and beneficial to Torres, either.
Both Chelsea and Torres are in a lose-lose situation now.
See, every time that the 28-year-old misses an easy opportunity or fails to produce anything on the pitch, he's berated as being not worth it. Yet every time he does score and does produce results, the question then becomes as to why he hasn't produced earlier.
Much like Stewart Downing, Andy Carroll at Liverpool and even Olivier Giroud earlier in the year at Arsenal (although he is much better now), the question about when the goals are going to start coming will continue to hang around until there is no element of doubt about their success.
It will continue to hang around until there is no doubt remaining—something that simply cannot be said with Torres.
With El Nino, the doubts and the question marks will always remain.
The only way he will ever escape them is by leaving Chelsea—not forgetting it and putting it down as a nightmare, but learning from it and taking those skills to his new club. For the entire ordeal will truly have been wasted if Torres and Chelsea learn nothing from the saga.
That would really be a disaster for the Blues.
Backed by Roman Abramovich's credit card (if people that rich even need credit cards), Chelsea will enter the summer transfer window very confident. They know that they can land pretty much anyone that they see fit, and they will never be outbid by an opposing team when it comes to transfer fees.
Like we saw with Eden Hazard and Demba Ba, the allure of West London and competing for championships with a world-class squad beats out anything else that another club can offer, but particularly when it's backed with Abramovich's financial incentives.
Premier League statistics this season - Fernando Torres - 7 goals (in 2046 minutes); Romelu Lukaku - 11 goals (in 1233 minutes) #CFC2013-2-23 16:00:24
Thus moving £30 million for Stevan Jovetic, £40 million for Edinson Cavani, £50 million for Hulk or even £60 million for Radamel Falcao is not an issue. Giving these guys the incentive to move to Stamford Bridge will never be an issue, and if they truly want, Chelsea will land a big-name player this summer to replace whomever they need to replace.
And with no problems in signing a replacement, Chelsea must recognize that parting ways with Fernando Torres now is the best thing for them.
Before the saga carries on any further and the club drives itself further into frustration, Torres must be sold whilst the upside is still there. For another scoreless season, another year older and another unproductive year will not help their transfer cause at all when they do decide to sell him.
That will come eventually. Why not make it now?
After all, if the price is right, Abramovich will pull the trigger.
He's shown it internally with his management, and he'll likely show it this summer too—either in bringing players in or selling players off. The owner simply knows what he wants and how to get it, and he'll prove that again in the upcoming transfer window.
For the Blues' sake, they need to hope Torres is in that plan too.
If only for the fact they could finally put the saga behind them, and focus back on the football aspects that seem to have left the London club some time ago.
Should Chelsea sell off Fernando Torres this summer?
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