Demetrio Albertini believes Fernando Torres can be a success for Milan, but only if he is given sufficient time to adjust to life in Serie A.
The Spain international shot to fame as a youngster in his homeland with Atletico Madrid, when his form prompted Liverpool to pay £20million for his services in the summer of 2007. After a bright start to life on Merseyside the striker suffered a dip in form, not helped by injury, but this didn’t prevent Chelsea from paying a then-English record £50million to lure him to London in January 2011.
Despite helping the Blues win an FA Cup and UEFA Champions League double in 2012 and the UEFA Europa League the following year, his time at Stamford Bridge is largely considered to have been a disappointment due to his poor record in front of goal: the 30-year-old featured in 110 Premier League matches for the capital club, from which he scored only 20 goals.
Jose Mourinho appeared to make up his mind last season that Torres wouldn’t be part of his future plans with the Blues, so agreed to let him join Milan on loan for the remainder of his two-year contract. And although the striker has only scored once in 10 league appearances, his former Atletico team-mate and Milan legend Albertini believes he deserves more time to prove his quality.
“If you want to see the real Nino, then you have to wait,” he told Tuttosport. “The current Torres is not the one we all knew. He is coming off two seasons in which he played very little, so it’s not easy to find yourself after that. Fernando must be aware of what he has gone through, to rediscover self-confidence and belief in himself not just through words, but also action.
“Plus let’s not forget football in Serie A is different to Spain and England, and for him is completely new. I think the difficulties for Torres are, other than settling in, finding a team that has profoundly changed from last season with a new coach. When you build a mosaic with five or six changes out of 11 pieces, it is logical to have fewer guarantees and the newcomers will feel even more out of place.
“When a foreign player joins a consolidated team, it is easier to adapt. When you put together a puzzle, you start with the outline and fill in the rest, but if every summer you break up the outline… and on top of that Torres has fitness problems too. Torres could well be left on the bench, as he needs time to adapt and it’s down to Filippo Inzaghi and the player to understand the best course of action.”
The Rossoneri are currently sixth in the Serie A standings, having collected 21 points from their opening 13 matches. Although this is already 13 points adrift of champions and leaders Juventus, they are just two behind Napoli in third place and, having only been beaten twice, there are signs Inzaghi may be able to lead a charge for UEFA Champions League qualification this term.
Will Torres ever recover the form which made him one of the best talents in Europe? Let us know what you think by joining in the discussion below.