Fernando Torres: Is He the New Andriy Shevchenko?

Patrick Johnston@PJSoccerJunkieCorrespondent IApril 7, 2011

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 20:  Fernando Torres of Chelsea looks depsondent during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on March 20, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

The parallels are conspicuous, Chelsea breaks the EPL transfer fee record for a world class striker, yet he is a flop.  Who says history does not repeat itself?

Anyone saying Andriy Shevchenko was worth the almost £31 million Chelsea paid for him in 2006 (at that time, a record for a player by an English club) is not going to garner respect when it comes to football matters. 

Shevchenko came to Chelsea from AC Milan fresh off the “Miracle of Istanbul” (albeit, on the wrong end) as one of the most accomplished strikers in world football.  He went on to score nine goals in 47 matches for Chelsea, and after two seasons, was sent back to AC Milan on loan where he failed to find the net in 18 matches for the Rosonerri.

Shevchenko's career has come full circle and will finish in his native Ukraine where he started, for Dynamo Kiev

Coming to Chelsea was the single worst decision for the career of one of the game’s all-time greats.

Can the same be said for Fernando Torres?

Torres is not scoring, and that is what he is known for.  The comparisons are hard to ignore: most expensive transfer,  accomplished striker coming into a team of already accomplished players, intense media scrutiny due to the price tag, struggling to find form...etc.  

The only significant difference is that Shevchenko came from the Scudetto while Torres was already a proven Premiership commodity.

Of course, it is too early to say that £50 million for Torres is a disaster, but all the early signs are there.  When Ancelotti has Anelka, Drogba, and, to a lesser extent, Kalou and Malouda having to step aside for the Spanish striker to play himself in, how long can he justify the investment that is showing no return?


Therein lies the problem. There is too much other firepower that will not take their shelving as graciously as management would like.  Drogba’s face as he was subbed in the Manchester United Champions League Clash said it all.

If Torres were at a club where he was given time to settle then it would be a different matter, but Chelsea did not spend the £50 million for potential.  

And Torres not producing is a lose/lose situation.  Ancelotti, Abramovich and the Chelsea faithful need success now but are not getting it. 

Meanwhile, the previously mentioned players in the equation are grumbling about being pushed aside for what they are surely already labeling a failed endeavor.

It is very early on for Torres in blue, but somehow I see a tale unfolding that we have seen before.