Fernando Torres now faces tougher fight for his place at Chelsea than he did for most of the previous campaign but Jose Mourinho says that he should relish the fact he has more competition.
Demba Ba will be hoping to stake a claim but it is Romelu Lukaku that is showing all the promise so far and was fantastic for West Brom during the last season out on loan, and then there’s also the potential for a new arrival such as Wayne Rooney as rumours persist.
On Torres’ status in the squad, Mourinho said:
“Fernando should be happy because we have competition in the team and I think that is good for everybody in every position. I think Fernando will be pleased because during of his time at Chelsea he was basically the only striker and then there was the arrival of Ba in January. Now the team has three strikers and I think that is good.”
The Spaniard had his best season at Stamford Bridge over the last campaign when he scored 22 goals for the Blues but will know that it’s still not good enough, especially with only eight coming in the Premier League, he will know that he has to do better if he wants to see out the remainder of his contract as he says he does.
For much of the time the 29-year-old has been in West London coaches, fans and pundits alike have been trying to figure out just why Torres hasn’t been able to recapture the sort of form he enjoyed during his days at Liverpool. Some think the injuries he suffered have had a lasting effect whilst others think it’s a mental issue, and the likelihood is that it’s all in his head.
So far everything that been done in order to get Torres to fire. Last season he was installed as the number one forward after the departure of Didier Drogba and he has some of the best creative talent money can buy behind him, including Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar, it’s improved the situation but something isn’t quite right.
When he talks about competition perhaps Mourinho is trying to stir the fight within the player, take a slightly different approach and get him to earn his place rather than trying to fix everything that’s around him. It’ll be interesting to see what work Mourinho can do with Torres and as a manager he’ll back himself when it comes to getting the best out of players.