Amid increased speculation about a potential transfer to Manchester City, Fernando Torres should turn down their overtures. City manager Roberto Mancini recently praised the Spanish superstar in New York during their preseason tour.
"Torres is one of the best strikers in Europe and is already playing in the Premier League for three years and knows it very well," Mancini told the gathered press at Red Bull Arena.
While the Liverpool striker would be enticed by the prospect of playing in a team full of stars and that he can basically name his as wages, City's owners are desperate to sign him. Yaya Touré was recently lured to City in a £200,000 a week deal after leaving Spanish champions Barcelona. If Torres were to join The Citizens, he could command unheard of wages.
If we he were to arrive at Eastlands, Sky Blues supporters could celebrate their first English top division title since 1968. Adding his name to an impressive list of Carlos Tévez, David Silva, Emmanuel Adebayor, Shay Given, Gareth Barry amongst others would give their club the edge over their Premier League rivals. Inter Milan striker Mario Balotelli is set to complete his City move in the next few days and could also be landing Aston Villa winger James Milner before the summer transfer window closes.
Torres though would be wise to turn down such a move despite the opportunity to win the Premier League title and the increase in wages. Manchester City do not value his ability as highly as Liverpool does. For the Reds, Torres is indispensable but the Citizens only view him as one of many transfer options as Mancini hinted, "There are two or three strikers that we could go for."
The 26 year-old Spaniard would also have to compete alongside Tévez, Balotelli and Adebayor for one of the two places up front for City. At Liverpool, Torres is a certainty to start every match as long as he's fit and is revered by the club's knowledgeable supporters. Torres quickly became an icon at the club whose fans only bestow such an honour upon the likes of Kenny Dalglish, Steven Gerrard, Ian Rush, John Barnes and Kevin Keegan.
If he were to move to Eastlands, Torres would be giving up that status and would just be one of many mercenaries to join the City spending spree. He often spoke about Liverpool being his "only English club" and his desire to end their 21-year drought without winning a top English division title.
With the exciting capture of Joe Cole, the renewed promise under Roy Hodgson and potential new signings, Torres would have equally as strong of a chance of winning the Premier League with Liverpool. It seems that he holds the cards to either club contending for the title as he may be the final piece to help push City over the edge or by staying at Anfield could give the Reds a fantastic chance if he can stay fit.
Torres has too much to lose if he were to join City as he would lose his connection with the Liverpool supporters he shares such a unique bond with. If he were to leave he would sour his relationship with "the Kop" as Michael Owen did when he joined Real Madrid just before the start of the 2004-05 Premier League season. He would be throwing away the chance to deliver ecstasy to every Liverpool fan by winning that elusive league title.
If Fernando Torres cares more about his place in history and the prestige of playing for Liverpool, he should commit himself to the Reds. From day one at Anfield, he spoke of how much these things meant to him. To join Manchester City would be taking the easy way out and he would be nothing more than a mercenary lured by the City's cash and promises of building a "super-team." If Torres if true to his personality and the many years of loyal service he gave his boyhood club Atlético Madrid, he should continue to fight for the Liverpool cause.