In honor of his 30th birthday, the media decided to link Fernando Torres to his boyhood club, Atletico Madrid. This isn't a new link, and it's probably going to continue to exist until the day he hangs up his boots, but on Thursday he answered some questions about his former club and his relationship with their manager:
"In football you never know. You can't be sure where you're going to be tomorrow or in a week or in 10 years. I have a lot of admiration for Cholo (Diego Simeone) from when we were team-mates. He helped me a lot and taught me to be captain. He taught me many things in our seasons together at Atleti."
"I always want to work alongside people I admire. I admired from the outside Rafael Benitez and had the opportunity to work with him. It was the same with Jose Mourinho and Luis Aragones."
"The twists and turns of life are unknown. I don't have to meet Simeone either here (at Chelsea) or with Atleti. Who would have said I would work with Benitez at two English teams?"
Torres also made some very sensible comments about his transfer fee, and how it's raised the expectations of Chelsea fans.
"If a club pays £50m for you, certain things are expected and, if things go badly, the criticism is much heavier and the reactions are much more extreme. If things go well, that's seen as normal, because you're expected to score. The Chelsea fans understand that completely."
"In two-and-a-half seasons, I've won a Champions League, an FA Cup and a Europa League, and I still have years remaining at Chelsea in which to keep on winning more trophies."
I'm sure the media will run with this as evidence that the Spaniard is leaving, there is still a fairly large oliphaunt in the room in the form of his wages. Torres is currently on about 175k per week, a figure that only a handful of clubs would be able to match. Unfortunately, none of the clubs that can afford to meet those wages would actually have a need for the current El Nino on the pitch, as he's not shown any signs of returning to his Liverpool form since joining in 2011.
While there's no sane way to call Torres anything but a massive disappointment during his three and a half years at Chelsea, he's at least managed to become useful enough of late to be a useful third option for the club. Agreeing to pay a significant portion of the player's wages just to make him go away just doesn't make sense in this instance, as we'd likely need to pay the same amount of money (or more) to someone else, on top of a transfer fee, just to fill the same role in our squad.
The only way I really see Torres departing the club this summer is if he's willing to take a massive pay cut in order to facilitate a departure, and that's something that's just hard to imagine this particular player willingly accepting. I have no doubt anymore that both Jose Mourinho and the club would gladly cut their losses and move on this summer if given the opportunity, I just doubt it will be as straightforward as that because we decided to overpay him when he signed. Fernando can say nice things about as many clubs and managers as he chooses, but at 30 years old and on the wages he's earning, we probably shouldn't get our hopes up that they mean anything about his short-term future.
- Chelsea 'prepared' to let Courtois compete against Cech in preseason
- Marco van Ginkel set to feature for the under-21s on Friday
- Want a cardboard cutout of Fernando Torres? Today might be your lucky day
- We're running out of superlatives for Man of the Match Eden Hazard
- The Daily Hilario: March Madness, Day 1; Europa League