Recent reports suggest that Fernando Torres is poised for a January loan move to the Premier League.
Newcastle United and Southampton are expected to contend for the 33-year-old Spaniard’s signature when the transfer window opens in the New Year.
Torres has only started in two domestic matches for Atletico Madrid this season, and his struggle for game time is only likely to worsen with the imminent return of Diego Costa.
Rafa Benitez—who gave Torres his Premier League break for Liverpool back in 2007— has reportedly been offered the chance to bring him to St James’s Park on loan, with Saints’ Mauricio Pellegrino also thought to have been notified.
Torres still possesses ability in droves and a reunion with the man who shelled out £26.5 million to bring him to Anfield a decade ago would surely help to consolidate, if not improve, Newcastle’s stellar start to the season.
The Mirror asserts that any team wanting to take Torres on loan for the rest of the season would have to pay part of his wage package, which currently stands at an annual amount of £2.2 million.
They just don’t make them like this anymore
Since his return to Atletico in 2015, Torres has gestured at becoming symbolic of a player-type that is ostensibly fading from the game; the one-club man.
Such categorisation conjures up images of truly great players. The mind of any long-standing Premier League fan would immediately turn to stars of the past such as Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard, and Manchester United’s Ryan Giggs, while the modern-day football fan would find it hard to look past Lionel Messi as the present archetype.
In a glittering senior career that has spanned sixteen years and four clubs, Fernando Torres has scored 190 domestic goals, as well as 38 international ones for Spain.
Now—despite various speculated interest from the USA and China—Torres has decided to see out the remainder of his contract at Atletico before retiring. With 18 months left on that deal, Torres has stated that he wishes to spend his final season with his boyhood club, regardless of the playing time that he might be allowed.
This frees him up for one last shot in England’s top division, a chance to remind Premier League fans of what he once was.
Six months in the Premier League—where he truly became a world-beater—followed by a final year for the club where it all began would be the perfect end for a player who, despite the difficult phases that he has experienced in his career, should be remembered as one of the greats.
At Liverpool, Fernando Torres scored 65 goals in 102 appearances. If he can give even a faint gesture at that kind of form for a short stint in England, then he might be remembered for the player he always could have been; the player who’s 82 goals for Atletico over 6 years and 214 appearances put him on the map as football’s premier wonderkid.
A Premier League swan song would be a fitting end to Torres’s illustrious footballing history. A reunion with Benitez who signed him when the world was at his feet, or, Pellegrino, who coached him at Liverpool alongside Benitez, would be equally apt.
No matter where Torres decides to play his football for the final six months of this season, he should be commemorated as a great player. Not least because he has decided to repay the faith shown in him by Atletico all those years ago by retiring with his name on the back of their shirt.