Is Fernando Torres better or worse than Andriy Shevchenko?

by Ben McAleer

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

When it was officially announced that Fernando Torres had joined Chelsea on deadline day in January, it was a move that was supposed to improve the stagnating West London club and boost their chances of winning the Champions League. A British record £50m move from Liverpool added to the already high expectations of Roman Abramovich and the Chelsea faithful where the goals were anticipated to flow freely from the Spaniard.

Yet, things haven’t gone entirely to plan for Torres since his move. Having made his tenth appearance for the club in the 1-0 home win over Wigan, he has, thus far, played a whopping 817 minutes of football in a Chelsea shirt and has failed hit the back of the net in any of them. Comparisons have, undoubtedly, been made to the Blues former record signing Andriy Shevchenko but how do both compare?

Well, the Ukrainian scored on his debut in the 2-1 Community Shield defeat to Liverpool in 2006 and followed that up with his first Premier League goal ten days later against Middlesbrough. Despite having a sporadic record with the club, he ended his first season with fourteen goals in all competitions adding a further eight in his second.

Granted, he had a full pre-season with his team-mates under his belt and hadn’t been short on confidence in the time leading up to his move but his record up against Torres’ so far speaks for itself. The demand to succeed would have been all too similar having broken the clubs transfer record with his £30.8m move from AC Milan.

Throughout his spell with the club, Shevchenko also posed a threat to opposition defences during his time on the pitch and his slim return in goals with testifies to that. Torres, on the other hand, has looked a shade of the player that shone so brightly in his early years at Liverpool. Injury and a severe loss of confidence have clearly taken their toll on a player, whose shirt sales outsold that of his Liverpool replacement, Andy Carroll, 250-1.

Shevchenko is a firm believer that Torres will begin his scoring form sooner rather than later and I am of the same opinion of the Ukrainian. However, if you are to believe today’s Daily Mail, Abramovich isn’t quite as confident as Shevchenko. Bob Cass wrote that the Russian oligarch is reportedly ready to consider offers for the Spaniard in the summer. If he were to sell the Spaniard, it would be a foolhardy move on Abramovich’s part.

Granted, Torres isn’t performing to his previous high standards of his Liverpool days but selling him at such a substantial loss will prove that signings made by the owner aren’t the best way to go. It is no secret that Abramovich was the one who signed Shevchenko and it is the same man who bought Torres to Stamford Bridge. Convinced by the brace he scored against his club in the 2-0 defeat to Liverpool, Abramovich made his signature top priority.

As for now, Torres may not be hitting the back of the net as regularly as fans would be hoping for. Yet, as everyone in football knows, form is temporary, class is permanent and the Spaniard oozes the latter on his day.

In regards to the comparison between Torres and Shevchenko, well it is too early to even cast judgement. The former has played ten games for his new club, the latter had two seasons. In eighteen months, then it will be possible to make a fair opinion on both.

Follow Ben on Twitter @BenMcAleer1

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  • stan

    Torres wasn’t really a goal scorer at Altheltico Madrid, he was a one in three player. Some how he slotted into Liverpools side with ease. scoring every 1.5 games.

    We might just be seeing the Altheltico Madrid Torres, that’s all. He will come good, that you can be sure of

  • http://vg Moha

    i dont think Torres is better than shevshenko.

  • Jem

    Benitez made him a better scorer. When Benitez left, his limitations are well exposed. For him to get scoring again, a similar system must be put in place, otherwise it will be wise for Chelsea to sell him to cut their losses.

  • Torrek

    Torres not suit with the way Chelsea style of play…

  • Navin

    Rafa – dare I say it – knew how to get the best out of Torres. When Liverpool bought him, the press and the critics felt he was not worth the money spent. Unless Chelsea uses Rafa-tactics for Torres, Chelsea won’t get their use of him.

  • arto

    Just because Traitor Torres was a prolific goal scorer at LFC doesn’t mean that he would do the same at chelski.Besides Liverpool made what Traitor Torres is today a household name he will be a nobody again because he is not at a Big Club, YNWA.

  • TG

    Torres is not a very good technical player, he rellied on Gerrard to play him in at Liverpool. This is the real Torres you saw at Atleti, no surprise then!!!!

  • dansk

    Torres’ best days are behind him. It’s clear that he doesn’t have the pace he used to…and that just doesn’t return when a player gets to be 27+ years-old.

    2-3 seasons of greatness is more than most players can hope for… he’ll be sold back to Atletico soon most likely. Great business for Liverpool, mind you.

  • dexylongshot

    It’s just taking him some time to settle in, I’m sure he will back to his best next season as long as he can swerve the treatment tables down West London.

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