Welcome back to The Greatest Transfers where we continue our countdown of the greatest transfers in Liverpool’s history. As always, you can get up to date on the list (honourable mentions, 15, 14, 13, 12 and 11) by clicking on the links.
We enter the top ten this week and it’s a man that still raises plenty of ill will amongst the Liverpool faithful, despite his unquestioned quality and goal scoring prowess. That man is none other than the Spanish sensation Fernando Torres.
Always regarded as something of a prodigy, Torres made his name at his beloved Atletico Madrid where he became captain at just 19-years-old. His continued quality in La Liga prompted Rafa Benitez to stump up a club record £20+ million fee for Torres. It would prove to be a masterstroke.
For the first time since the departure of Michael Owen in 2004, Liverpool had a striker that guaranteed goals and Torres produced. Tap-ins, solo efforts, headers, screamers; Torres could do them all and his partnership with Steven Gerrard was frighteningly good, frighteningly quick.
Liverpool would make two Champions League semi finals in Torres’ first two seasons but the injuries were beginning to become an issue for Fernando. As Liverpool began to falter, so did Torres’ body and happiness. By the 2010 World Cup, he was a shadow of himself and by January 2011, he was angling for a move to Chelsea. He would secure that move for £50 million but his career has since gone on to be a little disappointing.
However, that should not take away from what Torres achieved at Liverpool. In just 142 games, he scored 81 times and had a habit of running poor Nemanja Vidic ragged. In fairness to Vidic, he did run pretty much every defender ragged at that point in time as Torres was for two seasons, the best striker in the world. He’s the fastest Liverpool player ever to 50 league goals and was the last man to score consecutive hat tricks at Anfield. For a reported £20.2 million, that’s hardly a record to be sniffed at.
Unfortunately, his standing on this list is hurt by the fact that his departure was so sour. Feelings have thawed a little in the passing five or six years but the God like worship of his arrival is definitely gone forever. Still, when you look at his record, it’s hard to deny that he was anything other than absolutely incredible.
I’ll finish up this week with a lovely treat for you. Here’s a video compilation of Torres’ finest Liverpool goals and it showcases what a fine player he was. Pace, power, skill and a predatory instinct like no other made him an incredible player to watch irrespective of his departure.
Next week’s edition will feature the greatest Bosman in the history of Liverpool Football Club and potentially the footballing world.