Peter Crouch only has kind words to say about Fernando Torres - even if it was El Niño's arrival at Anfield in 2007 that signalled the end of his own time with Liverpool. With Torres to leave Atleti at the end of the season, Crouch hopes he will come back to England to crown his career in the Premier League.
Torres blew us all away
Writing in his weekly column for Daily Mail, Crouch confesses that he feels a tinge of sadness that Torres won't get the chance to retire at his boyhood club. “It was a shame to learn this week that Fernando Torres will not get to end his career with Atlético. He'll leave his boyhood team for the second time when his contract ends this summer. The first time he left was back in 2007 when he effectively ended my career at Liverpool. What a player he was back then! The one season we were together, he blew everyone away with his pace, strength and finishing ability. He scored 33 goals, including 24 in the Premier League".
Ruthless in front of goal
Crouch goes on to recount that Torres was unlike LaLiga's standard exports and fitted the English game to a tee. “Fernando was not a typical Spanish player and did not stand out with his technical ability. He was more like an English centre-forward, aggressive and direct, but his finishing was ruthless. We did well in the games we played together but as it was, Rafa paired him with Gerrard. They were unplayable at times and it made me realise my opportunities would be limited if I stayed on Merseyside”.
It all changed however, when Torres left to join Chelsea in 2011 winter window. “He was one of the best in the world and I was shocked by what happened when he moved to Chelsea in 2011. The player I saw struggling for confidence at Stamford Bridge did not resemble the one I worked alongside”, Crouch added.
Newcastle would be perfect for Torres
But now, the Stoke striker feels that Torres would be wise to return to the Premier League rather than accept a more lucrative offer to player in one of the emerging leagues. “It will be interesting to see where he goes next. Perhaps Newcastle could be an option. He enjoyed playing for Benítez and he is a manager who could get him firing again”.
- Sagan Tosu