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Torres looks for his only way out

It’s trophies not cash that motivate El Nino, writes Paul Ring.

Image: Peter Byrne/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A SLEDGEHAMMER WAS thrown through the transfer window yesterday with the news that Chelsea had a £35m offer for Liverpool striker Fernando Torres rejected by the Merseysiders.

A drip feed of speculation suggesting that the Spanish star had asked Liverpool to consider the offer became cold hard fact late last night as Liverpool were forced to confirm that they had rejected a written transfer request from Torres.

In a statement they explained: “Fernando Torres tonight submitted a written transfer request which was rejected by Liverpool. Fernando is under long-term contract and the club expect him to honour the commitment he made to Liverpool and its supporters when he signed the agreement.”

It is a desperate move from Torres and a calculated one from Chelsea. It was thought they were interested in the summer but any bid may have triggered an auction they could not win with Manchester City,  but with their frontline stockpiled for the foreseeable future Chelsea have moved swiftly to entice Torres.

The World Cup winner has cut a forlorn figure for the majority of this season.

Injury was initially thought to be the reason for his poor performances but as the season has progressed his general demeanour on the pitch has continued to frustrate Liverpool fans. Ironically his stand-out performance came in Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Chelsea back in November.

One wonders if he was reminding the Londoners of his ability.

Once described him at Atlético as “one part prodigy, one part folk hero, one part native son, one part messiah.”

Torres has never been seen as the stereotypical star out for the cash. He wants success and probably believes he has waited long enough for it. He made his debut for Atlético at 16 and was captain at 18.

The Spanish football magazine Don Belón once described him at Atlético as “one part prodigy, one part folk hero, one part native son, one part messiah.”  but fighting the tidal wave of Spain’s big two meant silverware was a lost cause.

He arrived at Anfield as perhaps the vital piece in the championship winning jigsaw. Having captured the champions league and forged a strong Spanish contingent at Merseyside, Rafael Benitez believed Torres would take Liverpool to the next level.

Bar this season he has been consistently devastating. England suits every facet of his game from his power and pace to his ability to spring from the ground. That may another factor in his decision to request a transfer in the wake of Chelsea’s interest.

Injury wrecked his level at the World Cup but watching him throughout it is clear “El Nino” prefers the direct style of England to slow-burning Spain.

Endgame

The last three days of this transfer window has now descended into a game of brinkmanship. By submitting the request Torres has said he does not believe Liverpool are a club that will challenge for major honours in the foreseeable future.

By joining Chelsea now, he would be eligible for the Champions League and who is to say he would not lift the big-eared cup in May if he were to make the move?

Fenway Sports Ventures, the owners of Liverpool can point to the impending signing of Luis Suarez as proof that they are putting up the dollars to restore the club. But talented as the Uruguayan is, it is probably not going to enough for Champions League qualification this year.

The choice for Torres is stay at a club that will almost certainly not play in the Champions league for the next eighteen months or try and force a move to one that has a chance of winning it in four.

It’s silverware and not dollars that motivate the Kid.

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About the author:

Paul Ring

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