Fernando Torres is set for a substantial workload leading the Chelsea line over the busy winter fixture list after Samuel Eto’o picked up a thigh injury in the Champions League defeat to FC Basel.
The Cameroon international is to have a scan today to discover the full extent of the problem but it’s feared that he could be out for the foreseeable future which leaves Torres and Demba Ba as Jose Mourinho’s striking options.
It could not have come at a worse time considering the fixture congestion ahead and Torres has only just returned from an adductor muscle injury himself so he’ll be thrown in at the deep end, whilst many do not believe Ba represents at viable option at this level.
On the Eto’o injury, Mourinho said after the FC Basel game:
“Samuel has a muscular injury. We have to wait two days, we have to do scans. I don’t know the dimension of it yet.”
Mourinho also said how rotation was an inevitability during a busy winter and how he should perhaps have made more changes on Tuesday night, so he won’t want to be without the 32-year-old for too long.
Eto’o has scored four goals and made five assists since his arrival on a free transfer from Anzhi Makhachkala in the summer and although his best days are most definitely behind him, he’s been working really hard for the team of late running in the channels and trying to create space for his team-mates.
It’s possible that Chelsea would be looking to sign a new forward in the summer as rumours of an approach for the likes of Radamel Falcao and Jackson Martinez intensifies but the West London club will need Torres in the run up to January and he still has a lot to prove as he has the most to lose should a big name arrive at Stamford Bridge.
Torres has only scored 16 goals in 90 Premier League games for Chelsea which is a paltry return, especially as Romelu Lukaku has 24 in 53, so it’s vital for the Spaniard to have a good winter whilst Eto’o is out and he’ll have to do it with the games coming thick and fast.