THE RETURN of El Niño?

Fernando Torres won and broke our hearts. Before the “Suarez Saga” where our latest striker left us for another major European club – there was the heartbreaking departure of the Spanish baby-faced striker, Torres.

Every Liverpool fan in the world adored Torres. He had won our hearts from the day he joined Liverpool. When we were first interested in buying him from Atletico Madrid, we didn’t even know if the player himself was interested in joining us (as happens with some players football clubs get linked with – they want them, but they don’t know if the player likes them enough to join them). THEN, he was seen wearing an armband that said “You’ll Never Walk Alone” on it and THAT WAS ALL THE FANS and the club needed. It was the subtle hint that showed he wanted to be a Liverpool player (without him even needing to do an interview and make comments on how he wants to leave his current club) and soon afterwards, Liverpool made their bid to Madrid and the rest was history. There was even mention of this event in a song that was sung regularly at Anfield about Torres:

“His armband proved he was a red – Torres, Torres 
You’ll never walk alone it said – Torres, Torres 
We bought the lad from sunny Spain, 
He gets the ball, he scores again 
Fer-nan-do Torres, Liverpool’s number nine”.

 

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Rafa Benitez knew Torres was a quality player before he even arrived in Liverpool as the Spanish manager naturally had an eye on his home country and was aware of the major stars in La Liga. Torres had scored close to 100 goals in almost 250 games for Atletico Madrid, so there was no denying he could do the job of “lead goalscorer“. He would start the success and affectionate relationship with the Reds fans at his new club almost instantly by scoring on his home Premier League debut at Anfield against Chelsea. It’s pretty impossible not to love a player that can just put the ball in the net so easily for your club. The same fans that labelled Robbie Fowler “God” for his regular goalscoring would show the same kind of love for our new goalscorer. Every time he’d put the ball in the net in front of Liverpool’s own crowd, the fans would go WILD at Anfield – over 40,000 people would be singing his name with joy. He was possibly the most loved player in the entire squad, more so than even our captain (Gerrard is a homegrown and well loved local player, but he certainly didn’t manage to keep up with the same amount of goals that Torres scored).

The way Torres left was not “amicable”. There had been a period of unrest at the club as Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano (players that were part of the 2005 Champions League Final victory in Istanbul and generally considered to be KEY PLAYERS for the squad at the time) were both sold off and not replaced with anyone even close to being equal strength players. Fernando would later on describe this as “the beginning of the end” (of his time at Liverpool) and strongly disapproved of Benitez’s choice to get rid of such talent as he reshaped the squad.

 

Torres had thought that the club (Liverpool) were not going in the right direction regarding potential for winning trophies like the European Cup (again), the Premier League and perhaps more. He had wanted to leave the “sinking ship” and put his career on a path to glory-filled days where he would be winning major silverware. In Torres’ opinion, “Liverpool were not the club he could achieve major success at” and when he was offered the chance to transfer out, he would take it. Chelsea would eventually come in with a bid of £50 MILLION and Torres would agree terms with the London club as he put behind him the days of being a red and decided to move to one of our biggest English rivals.

 

According to Torres the hardest part of leaving Liverpool was telling his decision to Gerrard (who he had formed a strong bond with as most assists for Torres’ goals would come from Gerrard).

The moment the reds fans learned of Torres’ decision to transfer to Chelsea, most if not ALL reds fans branded Fernando a “traitor” for betraying them and leaving for one of our biggest English rivals. He would go from “Kop HERO” to “Judas” in an instant, with a single decision to leave behind the club that had helped to turn him from a “La Liga wonder-kid” to a “world class goalscorer“.

Torres would no longer be the main star or even a “first team starter” at his new club though as Didier Drogba had been the star striker and main goalscorer for Chelsea and it was never going to be easy for Torres to be picked by the manager in the starting 11 if his teammates had been successfully scoring, game after game. The substitute bench at Stamford Bridge would his “second home” and the main place to find Torres as he regularly was “second choice” to somebody who scored frequently (usually Drogba). The manager could not afford to put Torres in the side ahead of someone that was generally expected to score without fail in every game.

This however would naturally affect his form as when he was brought on by the manager,  Torres would be “rusty” – he was very out of match practice and playing for a few minutes without managing to score would be all he could ever manage in the games he got lucky enough to feature in. In the 2013-2014 season, Fernando Torres would score only FIVE goals (he had managed to score over 30 goals in a season for Liverpool, so this would be an all time low for him). His move to Chelsea had such negative effects on his performance, he surely has realized himself by now that he could only get back to his best if he went back to a club that could make him the main star and a first team starter for every game.

Some time later with the 2014-2015 season about to start and the transfer window open (and Liverpool with hundreds of millions of pounds in their pockets for transfer fees), Fernando would be linked with his former glory days as Liverpool have sold Luis Suarez (leaving them with a need for a new star striker) and by now, Torres may be looking to escape the Chelsea substitute bench and come back to Merseyside to be the saviour of Liverpool once more.

This leaves a couple of questions to be asked and answered:

WOULD THE REDS FANS ACCEPT HIM BACK? Honestly, by now Liverpool fans have gotten over his betrayal and are more concerned with finding “Luis Suarez’s replacement”- that could easily be Torres and he would most likely be welcomed back with a fairly warm reception. We know he could probably find his old form as he’d link up with Steven Gerrard to assist him with all the passes he needed once more and get back to his glorious goalscoring ways.

Would the new squad be able to fit him in? I think,YES. We’re in the market for someone who has been proven as a goalscorer now that Suarez has been sent on his way to Barcelona. We already have seen what the Spaniard can do and we would all have confidence in his ability to regain his lost form that was taken from him as he was forced to sit on a substitute bench. He’d have all the match practice he needed at Liverpool. The transfer rumours of the move have already started and Torres is looking increasingly nervous and unsettled – enough to say that he could be thinking about and hoping for a chance to get back to his former club.

WELL, it’s up to the club to decide if we’re going to be making a bid on Fernando Torres. I’d say the player himself would be open to the move (who wants to be just a sub for every game?) and the fans would be open to the move (we’d like to see him back here, scoring for Liverpool again), so the rest will be just about if the clubs are going to arrange this transfer between each other without any trouble. We certainly wouldn’t want to get in an argument about the transfer fee… I really wouldn’t want the club to have to pay Chelsea £50M for him (he’s not worth that any more but if they ask for it, they’re unlikely to get it and we won’t get our player). Both clubs need to be realistic about the financial side of the transfer. Neither Chelsea or Liverpool can afford it to break down as both clubs want something out of it (millions of pounds of money or a new player).

WELL, I look forward to seeing how this will all play out and if we’re about to see the “glory days” of Torres once again at Liverpool.

YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE, reds!

[written by] Stuart Drewery. 
stu-1
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family, including my parents 
and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red. I’ve seen Liverpool win the 
league (about 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds 
through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s. 
I’m a die hard Liverpool fan (only supported ONE club in my whole life, Liverpool) and one of the 
most dedicated fans you’ll ever meet

 

 

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