It’s been almost three months since Chelsea FC pulled off one of the biggest shocks in UK football history by paying £50 million to poach Fernando Torres from Liverpool. The move made the Spanish striker one of the most expensive footballers in history and was hailed as a sign that Chelsea were once again willing to pay megabucks to achieve success.
But how quickly times change. Since making his debut for the Blues, Torres has failed to score in any of the games he’s played in. That’s 12 games without a goal – a dire record that the World Cup-winner will be keen to rectify as soon as possible.
Of course, there have been misfiring strikers in the past. Andy Cole famously failed to score for a couple of months following his record-breaking £7 million move from Newcastle to Manchester United in the 1990s. Likewise, Peter Crouch took a staggering 19 games to score his first goal for Liverpool and Diego Forlan took 26 games to score his first goal for Manchester United.
However, unless he achieves a quick turnaround of fortune, the striker may end up being classed among Chelsea’s biggest flops – such as Andriy Schevchenko, Juan Sebastian Veron and Adrian Mutu – and could even become Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich’s most expensive folly. After all, many bookies are currently taking bets on whether Torres is actually going to break his duck this season – of if he’ll have to wait until the 2011-12 campaign.
Chelsea have had a strained PR presence since Abramovich took over the reigns, with many claiming that his total ownership and bankrolling of the club has created the modern crisis that English top flight football currently finds itself in. Unless Torres can start banging in the goals, that negative PR may only get worse.