Fernando Torres is dead.

Sep 10

Fernando Torres is dead. That’s the only explanation at this point. Someone else is in his body using it to collect a fat paycheck, but the player who once terrorized defenses in a Liverpool uniform no longer exists. He was dropped completely from Spain’s Euro 2012 qualifying match. He started on the bench against Sunderland. He came off the bench with about 15 minutes to play and was awful. Right before the final whistle he completely blew an easy square pass to a wide open teammate that would’ve made it Chelsea 3-1 Sunderland. The look on his face said it all. He’s finished. A striker without confidence is as good as dead.

My first thought while watching the game was that Torres is going to be loaned to a Turkish or Russian team in the January transfer window. Chelsea has a lot of youth that needs development. Anelka and Drogba can step in to fill the gaps, but Daniel Sturridge was excellent. Lukaku is going to be great. Torres is heading out. I just don’t think he can turn it around at this point. When he came out of Atletico Madrid, he was young and confident. He ran incessantly. He was the focus of the offense at Liverpool. That kid is gone.

Now, his head hangs down, he has lost the aggression that helped him push, and his touch is miserable. Much of soccer is like riding a bike. You spend a lifetime developing motor skills and movements that stay with you. Can an injury change all that? Something has changed. The old Fernando Torres is dead.