'Torres Transfer Managed Badly', Says Chelsea Player Benayoun
Chelsea winger Yossi Benayoun Friday hit out at the club over the management of Fernando Torres.
The Israel international believes that the £50-million price tag and the situation at Chelsea when he joined have made it difficult for Torres to perform to his full potential.
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"It is a hard time for Fernando, of course," Benayoun told the Mirror, "But in my opinion the situation with him was managed badly from the beginning. You do not change so quickly from being the best player, one of the best in the world, to a player that some people say is not good enough for Chelsea."
Benayoun and Torres were teammates at Liverpool, when the Spaniard was in scintillating form, scoring 31 goals in his first season for the Reds'. While at Liverpool, Torres was considered one of the best strikers in England, notching up an impressive 81 goals in 142 appearances before a January deadline day transfer to Chelsea.
"When he was at Liverpool he was unbelievable, you gave him the ball and you knew he would score," Benayoun continued, "but he had a bad time in the beginning at Chelsea. When he came in, he was on the bench, then on the pitch, so he did not get the confidence when he came in."
As Benayoun claims, in his first season, Torres had to contend with being second choice to Didier Drogba while simultaneously proving he was worth the exorbitant transfer fee.
"With the £50million price-tag above his head, it is not easy for any player, especially when Didier Drogba was here as well and was his competition," Benayoun added, "Personally I believe in him 100 per cent. For me, he is still one of the best strikers in the world. He just needs to believe in himself, to keep doing the right movements."
Torres has been much maligned since his big-money transfer, with fans and media expecting him to reproduce his form at Liverpool almost instantly. Needless to say, the Spanish front man has failed to deliver, however, as Benayoun points out, his goal return has not been as bad as one would expect given the criticism he receives.
"So he has had good spells, bad spells, and has 15 or 16 goals already," said Benayoun, "but that is not bad and hopefully he will finish with 25. It would be good to get his confidence back and be his old self, the real Fernando Torres."
Chelsea take on Brentford in a FA Cup fourth round replay Sunday, with Torres hoping to get back to scoring ways. The FA Cup and Europa League represent Chelsea's only realistic chance of trophies this season, so the Stamford Bridge club are likely to field a strong team.