On the last day of this year's January transfer window, Fernando Torres joined Chelsea from Liverpool for a British record fee of 50 million pounds. But as we look back on Torres's Liverpool career the fans ask themselves, is he a hero or a villain?.
The story begins on the 4th of July 2007 when twenty-three year old Athletico Madrid captain Fernando Torres signs for Liverpool for around twenty million pounds, El Nino (the kid) decided to leave his boyhood club in search of winning trophies with Liverpool who had just missed out in the Champions League final a couple months previous. During his first season at Anfield, Torres scored twenty-four times for the club which is more than other foreign player in a debut season, unfortunately despite reaching the semi-final of Champions League, there were no trophies and only a fourth place finish in the league.
Despite an injury plagued second season which included three hamstring injuries, Torres nearly helped Liverpool to their first ever Premier League title only to be edged out by fierce rivals Manchester United, again the reds failed to win a trophy making only the Champions League quarters this time around. The injuries took their toll on Torres that season which resulted in him only scoring fourteen goals that campaign. Last season was disappointing for Liverpool to say the least, a group stage exit from the Champions League in what looked a fairly easy group, a third round exit in the FA cup and fourth round exit in the League cup made for a poor first half of the season. In the second half they tried to turn it around but the damage was done and despite a semi-final appearance in the Europa League, Liverpool only managed seventh in the League which led to the sacking of then manager Rafael Benitez.
During the summer of 2010 Roy Hodgson was appointed manager, despite reports that Torres wanted to leave, he stayed for the start of the season which was disastrous to say the least. During Hodgson's rein, Liverpool looked more relegation contenders than title contenders (not to mention a messy take over by New England Sport Ventures). A noticeable feature of this period was Torres's performances, the Spanish number nine looked disinterested and a shadow of his former self. Once Hodgson had departed and Dalglish had came in, Torres seemed to regain some form and pick up a few goals along the way. On Friday the twenty-eighth of January, two days before the transfer window ended, Torres shocked the Liverpool faithfully by handing in a written transfer request demanding that Liverpool talk to Chelsea.
The Liverpool fans who had previously idolised the Spanish superstar, felt both angry and betrayed at Torres's request with some gathering outside Melwood training ground burning shirts with their former hero's name on them. Once Torres had joined Chelsea, he further upset the reds fans by claiming that Chelsea were a step above Liverpool which would have been hard for the Liverpool fans to hear after their former number nine pledged his desire to stay at the club only weeks earlier.
The reasons for Torres's desire to leave were said to be a longing to win trophies, the same reason why he joined Liverpool back in 2007. If you look at it that way how can you blame him?. El Nino spent three and half years at the club but won absolutely nothing when Chelsea have been winning trophies left, right and centre. Yes maybe he could have handled the leaving a little bit more sensitively but he gave a good service to the reds over the three and a half years which shouldn't be forgotten.
So at the end of his Anfield Career, is Torres a Kop hero or villain?. Make your minds up.