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Friday, 14 June 2013

Chelsea: Stay with Torres or sign Rooney?

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Chelsea spent the majority of last season with only one striker to call upon, but that looks like it's all about to change with the return of Jose Mourinho. Exciting youngster Romelu Lukaku has been recalled from his successful loan spell at West Brom and the likes of Edison Cavani, Wayne Rooney and Mario Gomez have all been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, casting doubt over the future of Fernando Torres at the club.

Even Tony Blair's former spin doctor Alistair Campbell would fail to put a positive spin on Torres's disappointing move to Stamford Bridge. The £50m signing from Liverpool has been a massive flop following his big-money move and Roman Abramovich would have to take a huge hit on his prized investment.

Some people believe that Torres is on his way back following last season, where he managed to score the same number of goals (22) as he achieved in his third season at Liverpool. Well, yes, that does look good until you realise that he played in exactly double the number of games last season (64) than he did at Anfield!

The ever-popular Rafa Benitez was brought in to try and get the best out of the misfiring hitman. However, not even El Nino's former Liverpool coach could return him into the player we all used to love. Remember his displays in a Liverpool shirt? The guy who dazzled defenders with his quick feet and sharp play. The striker who could score from anywhere on the pitch. The striker that every defender hated to play against. Believe it or not, he is still in there . . . somewhere.

But is Mourinho the man to bring the best out of Fernando or should Chelsea cut their losses and bring in someone like Manchester United's unsettled ace Wayne Rooney?

To be honest, Torres hasn't looked like his old self for a number of years. You have to go back to 2009 for the last time the Spaniard looked really sharp and dangerous. Occasionally we get a brief glimpse of the old Torres in a Chelsea shirt, but most of the time he huffs and puffs and comes up short. Whether he has struggled with the strong personalities at Chelsea or the style of play at Chelsea I do not know, but you can clearly tell by his body language that all is not well.

Mourinho has been credited for giving Frank Lampard the belief he needed to become a top class midfielder and Torres will be hoping he still has a future at the Bridge. Although there appears to be no signs of a shortage of potential suitors looking to snap up the Spaniard.

Wayne Rooney, like Torres, is set to thrash out his future over the next few weeks, but there have been whispers of Rooney being interested in the challenge of playing for Chelsea. Nobody except those in the Rooney camp can confirm this, but he has not looked happy for a number of months at Old Trafford. Being dropped for the Champions League game against Real Madrid was a huge call by Sir Alex Ferguson, but the Red Devils had the game by the scruff of the neck until Nani got himself sent off. Rooney wasn't even missed. 

But Rooney wants to play in the big games. That incident would have had an impact on him and many believe it is time for Rooney and Manchester United to part company. Chelsea could be one destination, but the likes of Arsenal and PSG are also thought to be in the race.

Now money is no object to Abramovich and Rooney would cost him some serious dough, but having failed to get the best out of big-money signings Torres and Shevchenko, surely he wouldn't want a third high-profile flop on his hands would he?

Fortunately I don't think Rooney would be a flop. The boyhood Everton fan is at his happiest with a ball at his feet. Give him a first team place and some responsibility and he will repay you with goals and top class performances. He's never quite managed to light up the world on a consistent basis on the international stage, but domestically Rooney is one of the best. 

He may be able to resolve his issues with David Moyes and remain at United, but the fans will not take too kindly to a man issuing two transfer requests in three years. Maybe he needs a change of scenery. A fresh challenge to reinvigorate him ahead of next year's World Cup in Brazil. Life under Mourinho at Chelsea would definitely give him that!

Rooney didn't have a vintage season last year by any stretch of the imagination. He played in only 27 Premier League games, starting 22 of them, and scored just 12 goals. However, he was forced to play in a more deeper role, leading to 10 assists. Now compare that to Torres who played in all but two of Chelsea's Premier League games, starting 28, but only managed to register just eight goals. 

Mourinho is going to spend big this summer and a adding a striker or two is definitely in his thoughts. But should he keep faith with Torres or try something new with Rooney? What would you do if you were in the Special One's shoes?

 Calling all Chelsea fans: Do you think we will ever see the old Fernando Torres again? Should Torres be shown the door at the Bridge or be given another year to prove himself? Would you like to see Wayne Rooney come in? Whatever your view, we'd love to hear from you. 

Follow me on Twitter at @sqf_illingworth


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