Fernando Torres is Having an Undervalued Season for Chelsea

Being a Chelsea supporter has brought its fair share of ups and downs over the past few seasons. No player has embodied this more than Fernando Torres. There is no question that the striker has not scored enough goals to justify the $80 million Roman Abramovich shelled out for him during last season’s January transfer window. However, that does not mean he has been completely ineffective.

Despite the low goal tally, I’ve been impressed with the majority of Torres’ performances this season. He’s found ways to make an impact in other areas of play.

When Torres joined Chelsea, most of Chelsea’s problems towards the end Carlo Ancelotti’s reign were rooted in the midfield. Frank Lampard was injured for a good portion of the campaign, while Yossi Benayoun was lost for the entire season due to a torn achilles. As a result, Chelsea’s midfield was in a state of flux until Lampard returned to full fitness in March. Bringing in Torres was going to do nothing to alleviate these issues. Ancelotti never seemed quite sure how to integrate Torres into the squad. Whether Fernando was slightly injured for most of that season will always be a mystery, but whatever lack of confidence he may have had at the time was probably worsened by the inconsistent playing time he received under Ancelotti. Combined with the lack of consistent service from the midfield, Torres did not have a great chance of success early on at Chelsea. Eight total league starts spread out over 4 months is not going to bring a striker back to form.

The start of this season brought much of the same. The purchase of Juan Mata and the development of Ramires had helped to shore up the midfield. Torres was clearly not a part of the plan AVB was trying to implement as he continued to receive spot starts every now and then. The two early season moments fans remember are the glaring miss against Manchester United and the red card against Swansea, but in both of those games he managed to find the back of the net as well. The signs were there, but until he received consistent starts nobody could be quite sure whether he would return to form.

Drogba’s trip to the African Cup Of Nations coupled with a few injuries gave Torres the chance he needed to get back into the spotlight, and this is when I began to notice why he was still an effective player for stretches. His work rate during the second half of this season has been tremendous. He has been all over the field, tracking back to help the midfielders if needed and constantly drifting to keep defenses off balance. This has also increased his assist total. Twelve total assists in all competitions is very impressive for a forward, and he has been providing good service from wide out on the right, especially since Roberto Di Matteo took the reigns. This was highlighted in the winner against Benfica last week — a fantastic 30 yard run from the right touchline into the box to provide the cross for Kalou’s goal.

Does Torres need to start finding the net more? Absolutely, but I feel like some of the criticism he has received since he arrived at Chelsea has been slightly unjustified. He was thrown into a very difficult situation and was not given the chance he needed to succeed. The more we see of Torres week in and week out as the season draws to a close, the better he is starting to play. Let’s hope it results in more clinical finishes like we saw on Saturday.

21 thoughts on “Fernando Torres is Having an Undervalued Season for Chelsea”

  1. Torres was purchased to score goals. He has not delivered. All the extras would be wonderful if he had 18 in the bank, but if we’re reduced to discussing how well a goalscorer is preforming secondary and tertiary roles, it’s never a good sign.

    1. Like I said, he hasn’t scored enough. It’s completely fair to say that. All I’m trying to point out is that the constant criticism is a tad bit unfair at times. When a player still finds a way to make a mark, he deserves some credit. 8 goals and 12 assists in all competitions really is not a bad season, it’s just not good enough when an owner like Abramovich overpays on the transfer fee for that.

    2. If Chelsea had bought a midfielder under the pretense that he needed to create goals and get assists, would anyone be complaining if he had “only” 8 assists and 12 goals? It seems crazy that anyone would.

  2. not enough goals to many misses.scoring a goal in the 90+ minute when ahead does not make a comeback.just another Chelsea mistake.

  3. Agreed Justin. He really has played well. And honestly, could have had 3 in the Villa game. I don’t care how many goals he scores, he can score 0 for all I care as long as he helps Chelsea win the one we all want, the European crown. Maybe it’s just me, since I was never much of a goalscorer in my youth, but rather a set-up man, but I never understood why the assist is so undervalued. Half the time it is the pass or the move, and not the finish, that are what truly make a goal brilliant. Agreed?

  4. I’m no fan of the guy however I will defend him to a certain extent. I don’t believe Anciloti wanted him last season and didn’t know what to do with Torres. AVB wasn’t allowed to follow through with his overhaul and now there’s a new captain of the ship. Torres is caught in a storm not of his making. He’s truly one of the more gifted players I’ve seen and I hope he can find his form again.

  5. Has’nt nearly got the service hes been providing. Also has not had one bounce go his way whether it be woodwork or a great save. Not saying hes back to Liverpool form but I wouldn’t sell him or leave him out of the Euros. A couple goals against Barca in the Semis and will be worth every penny.

  6. For 50mil, 8 goals and 12 assists is garbage. What’s worse is the nonchalance on the pitch. I’m not a Chelsea fan and I even find it irritating. He had a horrendous game against villa but people are forgetting cos he scored a gimme at the end.

  7. You know you’re desperate when you try and bring up stuff like “oh, well he has 12 assists…” or “you guys are meanies, ease up on the criticisms”. Chelsea should just cut their losses and admit he was a waste of 75 million pounds. For that amount, they could have gotten two younger forwards who would not only get the job done but get it done for less.

    1. 50 million, but whose counting. Did i not say in the article that he hasn’t scored enough? Regardless, I fail to see when being a part of 20 goals in one way or another was considered awful. jdoe, were you watching the Man City game, or the Benfica game, or any game in 2012 for that matter, when Torres has noticeably been one of the hardest working players on the field. He was not worth that money in the first place, but it is not his fault that Abramovich throws his money around blindly.

  8. It still boggles my mind that Chelsea paid so much for his transfer. Even when he was still with Liverpool there were signs that his skills were on the decline. He had 9 goals in 24 appearances, which is hardly anything to write home about. This statistic, even as good as it sounds, does not do justice to his performances, as he drifted in and out of games and seemingly lost his touch. The constant criticism is justified because $80 million is such a mind boggling number, and regardless of what he has done he should be the best player on his team for that price. Yes, some of his inconsistencies with Chelsea go hand in hand with their situation, but unless he starts striking goals like RVP, any amount of criticism will be justified.

    1. Believe me Bob, I agree with you on the transfer. But again, Abramovich is the one that paid well over what his actual value was at the time. That is where some of the criticism needs to go. It was not a smart purchase by any stretch of the imagination. Yet, he has still had a productive season when given his opportunities. He is simply just not scoring the amount of goals you would expect. What if it was 15 goals and 5 assists?

      1. Yes, the transfer is what deserves the criticism, but he hasn’t lived up to that transfer in any way. People see the $80 million price tag and they expect results, are they wrong to think that? It is Abramovich who pulled the trigger, but Torres will forever be labeled the $80 million transfer and thus criticism will always be there unless he lives up to his price. If he had 15 goals and 5 assists that would be a reasonable return, but it is also dependent on how he looks when he plays. If he demands attention, plays with some fire, and is secure in his touch, people would be forgiving. However the only thing that he has consistently done this year is given effort and been insecure with his touch. Fix that and the goals will come.

        1. Very fair points. I think I will disagree slightly on the insecure touch; you can’t be a part of 20 goals and not have some resemblance of a touch, but it does need some more improvement. However, another interesting part of the Torres saga is how a lot of the criticism comes from outside of Chelsea. The feeling from quite a few Chelsea supporters that I have talked to about all of this is mostly positive as well. He has put in some great shifts so far this season, but to most of the major media outlets, the majority of what you hear is negative. I think that has given people the ammunition to criticize without looking at from a Chelsea angle. The good moments he has had this year so far are not talked about nearly enough, in my opinion.

  9. I’m a big fan of Torres and I still think that when he’s on form he’s still one of the top strikers in the world, unfortunately he hasn’t been close to top form for 18 months. His confidence is shot and he is not wanting the ball in goal scoring postions for fear he will miss AGAIN.

    When he is on form he can do it all. He can lead the line and score with either feet. He’s strong in the air and can Finnish when given the crosses that come in from the right area which he can attack. He can also pick up the ball outside the box and use his pace over those first couple of yards to go past a defender and create his own shot. He’s also got a good first touch and can hold the ball up when he needs to, right now though his confidence is so low he looks average at all these things.

    I don’t think chelsea have the wide players that suit Torres playing style so to me he’s suffering the exact same way that Carroll is at Liverpool. I know he’s had plenty of chances over the last 18 months but it’s all a matter of him finding his confidence again, he still has all the technical abilites to be a top striker Chelsea just need to find some way to get him believing in himself again. Maybe that goal will be the spark he needs to kick start his form again.

  10. Chelsea paid a transfer fee and salary for a top 5 striker of the world and they don’t even have a top 10 striker in the EPL.

  11. Torres will be back in top form next season…watch.

    Torres was injured and finished with LFC/Rafa in 7th after Alonso was sold, Rafa gets fired by the old owners who won’t spend, Torres underperforms in the WC and is basically the only non-La Liga starter, he gets injured at WC, he comes back to LFC to find Roy Hodgson and his hoof ball tactics and joke transfers, he is purchased by Roman and transfers to play for a manager who clearly didn’t want him, he then gets AvB who had no clue how to play him and eventually just stopped playing him, and finally when fit and under a manager who rates him he grabs a CL goal and wreaks havoc in the box against Villa.

    This is all coming from an LFC fan who would take him back in a second. Rafa, Torres, and the current owners’ $$ would be ideal!

  12. This post contradicts itself. The title says “Fernando Torres is Having an Undervalued Season for Chelsea”. But the author admits right away “the striker has not scored enough goals to justify the $80 million Roman Abramovich shelled out for him”, which is the definition of being overvalued. If Torres doesn’t product enough goals given his price, he is overvalued, not undervalued.

    Maybe the author meant Torres is having an underrated season? Value is a precise, quantifiable term and the author doesn’t provide any numbers to support his claim. If an argument about value doesn’t include numbers, it’s not really about value.

    1. “Value is a precise, quantifiable term…”

      Not necessarily. “Value” is also synonymous with “appreciate” and I believe that was the author’s intent in its usage.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *