Fernando Torres was once the deadliest striker in Europe.
Having become Atletico Madrid’s youngest ever captain at the age of 19, he successfully translated his form to the Premier League when he moved to Liverpool in 2007. However, he has been on a downward spiral since his move to Chelsea in 2011, and something has to give.
El Nino began his career at Atletico Madrid by scoring 13 times in 29 appearances in his debut season. His form for his club saw him called up to the Spain squad and he made his debut against Portugal in 2003. In total he scored 91 goals in 243 appearances for his boyhood club where he is still held in high regard.
The style of play at Liverpool suited him as he managed a frequency of one goal every 1.75 games, but that has been stretched to one every 3.86 games for Chelsea. Despite this dip in his club form, he has been performing at a far more consistent level for the Spanish national team.
His appearances were limited in the 2013 Confederations Cup, yet he won the competition’s golden boot for the second time. However, he has found himself further sidelined by the in-form Roberto Soldado. And unless he improves his performances for Chelsea he faces the real possibility of missing the 2014 World Cup.
According to Metro.co.uk, Atletico Madrid have registered their interest in bringing Torres back to the Vicente Calderon.
The player himself has said that he will see out the remaining three years of his contract with Chelsea, and a move home would mean taking a pay cut. This is not an appealing prospect as his career nears its end, however the benefits surely outweigh the downsides.
Torres has been unable to catch a break since he arrived at Chelsea. Recent events further underline the almost comic way that he has been pushed back every time he begins to make progress. His excellent performance against Tottenham was cut short by a red card, before he was sidelined for three weeks with a knee injury.
The English press are infamous around the world for their ability to make or break a player, and whether Torres reads the paper or not, he must be aware of the mockery they regularly make of him. His confidence has been rebuilt and shattered countless times since 2011, and a significant section of the Chelsea support would wish him well on his way.
Being back in his home town as the prodigal son returned, playing regularly for a club who have shown nothing but belief in him would certainly be the best thing for Torres.