Defenders know better how to stop Torres now – Chelsea boss Benítez
Rafael Benítez says part of reason for Fernando Torres' struggles is that defenders are now ready to cope with Chelsea striker's threat
Rafael Benítez believes that part of the reason for Fernando Torres’ struggles since joining Chelsea has been that defenders are now better prepared to cope with the Spanish striker’s threat.
The 29-year-old forward has struggled to live up to his £50m billing since switching Liverpool for Stamford Bridge in January 2011 but has still managed to notch up 19 goals in all competitions for the Blues this season.
Benítez – who coached Torres during his prolific Liverpool days – concedes that the forward is not as deadly in front of goal as he was for the Reds after he scored 81 goals in 142 games.
But the Chelsea boss says that part of the problem is that he is now well-known amongst the country’s defenders.
“It’s true that Fernando’s goal tallies are lower than they were at Liverpool,” the Chelsea interim boss told Spanish newspaper Marca.
“There he had a good understanding with [Steven] Gerrard and the quick style of play helped him a lot. Now the defenders here know him better but he still has 19 goals.
“The problem is people judge Torres by what he cost but that has nothing to do with making a judgement on his performances. It’s only a question of time before he scores more goals.”