Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has come out in support of under-pressure striker Fernando Torres, insisting he wouldn't think twice about paying £50 million for the Spaniard, again.
Amid much hype during transfer deadline day in January, earlier this year, Chelsea signed the 27-year-old for a British record transfer fee from Liverpool. However, a combination of lack of fitness, form and confidence has seen Torres struggle to meet the high expectations that come with the huge price tag.
After joining Chelsea, Torres managed only one goal for the Blues in the whole of last season, against West Ham. One of the objectives set for Villas-Boas is to help Torres find his dominating self. To that effect, there has been an improvement, with Torres scoring four goals so far this season.
However, he is still far from his best and with Chelsea hosting Liverpool on Sunday, the spotlight has inevitably been on the Spaniard, who many feel is past it.
Villas-Boas has come out in support of the striker, claiming he would still pay £50 million for the player.
Of course he is worth the money, Villas-Boas said. Of course I would pay that now. You talk about his record but when you do that you are isolating two years to vent your opinion-making. Instead,
isolate the last four months with the goals he's scored.
It's not bad. A striker is not just there to put the ball in the net. He's there to perform and create - creating opportunities is important, whether you win or lose games. At the moment, our best scorers are our two midfielders (Frank Lampard and Ramires). For them to finish, someone is creating. The team is, so I'm happy at the moment.
I think Fernando has picked up from last season, not only with his form, but also his availability and movement for the team. He is back to his old sharpness and also in goalscoring terms. We're pretty happy with the way he's performed.