So the transfer window went absolutely crazy on the final day. It still baffles me as to why clubs leave it so late. All I can think of is the ‘take it or leave it’ type of attitude, too tempting for some to refuse it seems. Now, whilst we are all coming to terms with what happened, I thought I would give you some food for thought about how these mega transfers will affect the teams and players involved.
The big shock was Torres piping up and telling Liverpool he wants to break the Kopite’s hearts and leave the club everyone thought he had fallen in love with. I think Rafa leaving was a big moment of uncertainty for Fernando Torres. Rafa built a Spanish culture at the club and it was with that he was able to attract players like Torres and Reina and keep them happy. Once he was gone, the club obviously started to change and so did Torres’ thoughts on his future.
It was difficult for Torres to move as not many clubs could attract or afford him. A striker like Torres should be playing at the top; he is approaching his prime and should be playing for a team that is challenging for their domestic league title, whilst also being realistic contenders for the Champions League. But in terms of destinations I am not sure he had too many choices. He couldn’t move back to Spain. Torres was born in the suburbs of Madrid and went on to support and play for Atletico Madrid. He has already stated he wouldn’t play for Real as he is Atletico through and through. Barcelona don’t really need him and were possibly priced out of any move with their debt problems becoming more and more publicised. Manchester City could have come sniffing if they hadn’t just signed Dzeko. Chelsea was the only real club Torres could have realistically gone to, I think he knew this and this is why he forced the issue.
By moving to Chelsea though it brings up some interesting questions. Is he a replacement for Drogba? Can they play together? How much longer has Drogba got at Chelsea? What will happen to Anelka?
Personally I see Torres as the ideal replacement for Drogba. Being a striker from a similar mould, it would be an easy transition for him in to the Chelsea team. He can play either in a 4-5-1, 4-4-2, or 4-3-3 which will suit Chelsea and also inject some much needed younger blood in to the ageing team.
And an ageing team it is, Drogba is 32 currently, 33 in March this year – surely he cannot have another season in him and with only 18 months on his contract, the summer will see the time when Chelsea cash in on a striker that has given them a great service. I think there are too many similarities between Torres and Drogba, both uber strikers, and they may face similar problems if they do play as a two - as Drogba and Anelka did. Will Chelsea have to change formation?
Nicolas Anelka is another ageing player and it is crazy to think he is now 31 (32 in March also), when I can remember him bursting on to the scene as a teen for Arsenal. Now Anelka is also moving beyond the perceived ‘prime’ of a striker. Although he signed a one year extension at Chelsea last year, they will surely be keen to cash in on him as well in the summer as a new Chelsea starts to emerge.
So the future is now looking bright for Chelsea. Very subtley (or not as the case maybe) the signing of Torres and also the majorly overshadowed signing of David Luiz are a sign of the future. Chelsea have shrewdly bought in a world class replacement for their ageing forwards and have finally filled the gap left by the departure of Carvalho with a player considered almost a carbon-copy.
Don’t be surprised to see Chelsea splash more cash in the summer on a top class midfielder to replace Lampard. Icons of the last 10 years are coming to the end of their careers and Ancelotti has been quick to realise this. Don’t be surprised to see bids for players like Pato and Modric in the summer.
For this season they have more than enough firepower to challenge for all trophies in all competitions. Torres is not cup-tied and this was obviously an important factor for Chelsea when paying that much for a player mid-season. There can’t be any other strikers of his quality playing outside the Champions League this year.
In the wake of him leaving, the usual snipes have come out: “he wasn’t playing well”, “he has lost it”, “he is lazy” etc. Well I think all of that is about to change. Unfortunately for Liverpool fans, Torres’ form could change as soon as Sunday.