Updates from Sunday, Aug. 31
For the time being, the Fernando Torres experiment at Chelsea is over.
The polarizing 30-year-old striker, after two-and-a-half seasons of failing to live up to his status as one of the most expensive transfers in history, is on his way to AC Milan on a two-year loan.
Chelsea announced the move on the club website, subject to Torres "agreeing personal terms with AC Milan and passing a medical examination."
Torres, a European champion in 2008 and World Cup winner in 2010, played with Atletico Madrid and Liverpool before making the move to Chelsea. In domestic league play, he netted 128 goals in 247 appearances, good for a goal once every 1.93 appearances.
His time at Stamford Bridge, though, has been much different. In 110 Premier League appearances, he has scored just 20 times, an average of once every 5.5 matches. Instead of terrifying runs and the deadly pace he was once known for, his stints with Chelsea have become characterized by missed opportunities and maddeningly inconsistent play.
That has made him the butt of most jokes, as Men in Blazers displayed during the World Cup:
With that whiff, along with earlier shanked miss and glaring offside, Higuain has now completed a "Fernando Torres hattrick"— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) July 13, 2014
Torres has had his moments—he scored a much more efficient 10 goals in 29 Champions League showings—but most of the Chelsea faithful wouldn't be depressed to see him leave.
CBS Sports' Jeff Borzello put it simply when rumours of a potential transfer began to pique:
Eurosport reporting Atletico and Chelsea are negotiating a fee for Fernando Torres. Man oh man, that would be tremendous.— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) July 21, 2014
However, while it has been a mostly forgettable four seasons, or maybe unforgettable for the wrong reasons, perhaps a change of scenery is all Torres needs.
How many league goals will Torres score during the 2014-15 campaign?
He's still only 30 years old and has shown glimpses of being able to find the back of the net, and his uptick in numbers in the Champions League suggests a move away from England could be beneficial.
If his team can get even a fraction of what the Spaniard was before he moved to Chelsea, they will take it.
As for the Blues, they aren't going to lose a whole lot of sleep over this. The additions of Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid and club-legend Didier Drogba on a free transfer mean Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is feeling confident up front.
Centre-back John Terry, via Chelsea's official site, recently spoke about what Costa brings to the squad:
First of all, his movement and his strength are really good—I was really surprised by it. ...
... He holds the ball up very well, he has got great movement and he is really physical, but he is very clever with his strength and the way he uses his body. I think he could be a very good signing for us.
Overall, both sides are moving on for now. And with the way things have played out the past four years, that's certainly a good thing for everyone involved.