With a potential ‘striker clear out’ looming at Stamford Bridge at the end of the season, Inter Milan have been caught snooping about one Fernando Torres. Torres relationship with Chelsea fans has been a tempestuous one. Arriving for 50 million pounds in 2011, there were high expectations on the Spanish born forward. At Liverpool he had been a regular goal scorer, and was renowned for his lightning pace and lethal finishing.
Despite a rocky start, fans (and the various Chelsea managers) were patient with Torres. Scoring just 1 goal in 18 appearances throughout the 2010/11 season, admirers of the World Cup winner simply refused to believe that he wouldn’t soon come well. 3 years on, and much of the footballing world has simply come to accept that the Torres that once was, is now no longer. While he will occasionally put in a fighting performance, or beat a defender or two, few people are now foolish enough to utter the now cliché suggestion, “Is Torres back?!”
While he is not what he was, he has come to carve out something of a new identity in the current Chelsea squad. Often utilised as a power forward that works the channels and breaks up defences, he has been integral in a number of great Chelsea performances, helping his team mates find the back of the net. However, with a wealth of fresh talent now playing behind and around him, and having just celebrated his 30th birthday, it might be time for Torres to begin the slow stepping down process that every great player must endure.
Inter Milan’s interest comes as part of a more general rebuilding plan, after the Italian Serie A club has suffered a relative fall from grace since winning the Champions League under Jose Mourinho in 2010. Currently sitting 5th in Serie A, the 3 time champions of Europe are set to build a new team to regain something of their glory days. It’s interesting to speculate as to the role Torres will take on at Inter, should the move materialise. More than likely, whether or not he is an impact player or a talisman will largely depend on his ability to find his form in front of goal, and fans of I Nerazzurri will be hoping for just that.