In Spain, Fernando Torres is nicknamed as “El Nino”, the kid. However, that was in his youth, tearing up trees during his first spell at Atletico Madrid.
The 110-capped Spanish International now in his twilight years. With a lack of playtime at the Wanda Metropolitano, the World Cup winner is keen to return to the Premier League.
Fernando Torres and Raphael Benitez to reunite?
The 32-year-old has been linked with a reunion with Rafael Benitez at Newcastle United, according to the Newcastle Evening Chronicle.
Arguably, Torres played the best football of his career under Benitez with Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso creating chances for him.
Newcastle do have creativity in the middle, with Jonjo Shelvey and Mikel Merino playing through balls to the forwards. Many feel he would be a different option for goal-shy Newcastle, side who lacked a goal threat. In particular on the road.
However, Torres has lost his pace, his biggest asset made him a threat during his Anfield days. Whilst he still has good link up play, he is no longer someone who troubles defenders. The same could be said for his physical presence either.
The Need For Speed
Rafa already has non-scoring Joselu and ill-disciplined Alexandar Mitrovic who both lack pace. Torres’ limited aerial ability may not be a huge improvement on them. Probably why he’s used by Diego Simeone as an impact substitute.
Asking him to lead the line in the Premier League may be a recipe for disaster. Rafael Benitez does have a fondness for fellow Spaniard Ayoze Perez, who has still has energy to press the ball. Due to his advancing years, Torres may be unable to do that anymore.
I have utmost respect for Torres. During his Anfield days, he was arguably the best number nine in the world. However, he is now a static player, who’s once lethal pace has greatly diminished. He may have the presence of a star, but I can’t see him lighting up St James’ Park.
Under Kenny Dalglish in the late 90’s, the Scotsman brought in two veterans in John Barnes and Ian Rush from Liverpool. Similarly to Torres, were seen as footballing gods in their era. They were unable however, to replicate their Liverpool form at St James’s Park. They were widely seen as transfer flops.
Torres may suffer the same fate. In Spain the pace is slower, and the ball is grounded more. This could maximise his strengths, leading to a revival. Perhaps then helping him push for that International re-call.
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