Liverpool players were 'astonished' that Chelsea paid a record fee for Fernando Torres
Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has said that his ex-teammates were astonished when Chelsea agreed to pay a then British record fee of £50 million for former Liverpool striker Fernando Torres.
Torres scored 56 league goals in his first three seasons at Liverpool after moving to the Merseyside club from Atletico Madrid but saw a big regression in his fourth season at Anfield netting just nine goals in 23 games before moving to Chelsea in the January transfer window.
Carragher wrote in his column for the Daily Telegraph that Torres had started to break down in his final few seasons at the club and that the Liverpool players knew that he was no longer the same force that he was during previous campaigns.
“I witnessed this with Torres, a player who rose to world-class status but then lost his explosive pace and could never get it back,”wrote Carragher.
“When Chelsea bid £50m for Torres in January 2011 there was consternation among Liverpool supporters.
“Although we could never state it publicly at the time, there was general astonishment in our dressing room. We thought Chelsea had not been watching him for the previous 12 months.
“We knew Chelsea did not sign the player they thought. They bought a striker who – aged 26 – had already played 468 games, had not had a summer off for the previous three years and was constantly trying to repair his body.
"Torres started to have a hamstring problem during the 2008-09 season, and also suffered an ankle injury the year we finished runners-up to Manchester United. The following season – Rafa Benitez’s last as Liverpool manager — he had a groin and knee issue and was a shadow of himself, despite still regularly scoring goals.
“Beyond Merseyside no-one seemed to notice, attributing poor displays to a struggling team. In training we could see there was more to it.”
Torres scored 81 goals in 142 games over four seasons at Liverpool but struggled since leaving for Chelsea with the Spanish World Cup winner scoring just 85 goals in the seven seasons since his departure from the club.