Fernando Torres: Struggling or Stumped?

Henry LoughlinContributor IIApril 13, 2011

When Fernando Torres arrived at Liverpool in July of 2007, many tipped him to be the next big thing in English football. His pace, trickery and finishing ability were enough to frighten defenders. His uncanny knack for scoring out of even a scintilla of a chance was something that every manager would have wanted on their team.

At just 23 years of age, he appeared to have many years ahead of him to terrorize even the most composed of fullbacks.

Indeed, Torres seemed to have a promising future.

Fast-forward to February 2011. Having endured two tough seasons at Liverpool, the Spaniard left Merseyside for Chelsea amidst acrimonious circumstances on the last day of the January transfer window.

He was seen as a great buy by fans of the Blues. "So what that he cost £50 million?" they argued. "He's a gem of a player."

Or is he?

Despite featuring for the Londoners in 10 games, Torres has yet to find the back of the net. A good header in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinal aside, Chelsea's No. 9 has looked devoid of confidence.

The player who scored the winner in the European Championship for Spain in 2008 and traumatized the Manchester United backline time after time wasn't on the pitch last night at Old Trafford.

Instead, it was a man alone in the world (ironically, his former club's anthem is titled "You'll Never Walk Alone"). Despite the support Liverpool fans placed in Torres, he left them, saying he needed to take that "next step" he was convinced wouldn't happen on Merseyside.

Based on what I've seen, he's still at the bottom of the stairs, and I can only imagine if he'll ever get over the ledger.