Top 10 PL shirt name sales globally 2012-13: 1 RVP; 2 Rooney; 3 Kagawa; 4 Aguero; 5 Torres; 6 Hazard; 7 Suarez; 8 Wilshere; 9 Ox; 10 Cazorla— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) August 5, 2013
Shirt sales are obviously not a significant part of player value -- the volume for named shirts isn't that high, only a small fraction of the sale price goes to teams and it's very difficult to tease out how many fans are buying a shirt because of a player versus how many will buy a shirt no matter what and then pick the name later. They're not even a good measure of popularity -- everyone who wants a Frank Lampard kit already has one, for example.
The novelty of Hazard explains his place on the list, but it doesn't explain Torres, who's now been around for two and a half seasons. His popularity among fans continues to astonish, especially considering how inept his football has been, and it's difficult to understand, especially considering that that same emotional largesse isn't extended to, say, a Victor Moses or a John Obi Mikel.
Even if I don't get why, it's clear that there are a lot of Fernando Torres fans out there. We live in an extraordinary world.