International Soccer
Torres leaves unfinished business at Liverpool

By Tim Keeble, Soccer Editor

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Maybe he had too much success too soon, but when Fernando Torres left Liverpool on Monday just before the close of the January transfer window to join Chelsea, it felt as if he was leaving Anfield with unfinished business.

The baby-faced Spaniard took the Premiership by storm in his first season at Liverpool in 2007-08, scoring 30 goals in all competitions while leaving befuddled defenders in his wake.

That summer, Torres helped lead Spain to its first major trophy as he scored the lone goal in the Euro 2008 Final win over Germany.

The bar was set extremely high for Torres after such a strong first year, and although he battled injuries in his second season, he still managed to score 14 times in 24 games as Liverpool mounted its most serious title challenge in years, finishing second to Manchester United.

However, last season is when things began to head south, with Liverpool stumbling to a seventh-place finish and Torres battling injury and inconsistency problems throughout the campaign.

El Nino scored at an impressive rate, with 18 goals in 22 league appearances, but the problem is that he would score a hat trick in a 6-1 win over Hull City one week, and go one month before his next goal.

There were grumblings from Torres about wanting to leave the club in the summer with Liverpool failing to qualify for the Champions League, but further disappointment followed at the World Cup as Spain captured the title, but Torres played a small part as fellow striker David Villa was the dominant presence.

So far this season, Torres has managed to avoid the injury bug but has looked generally disinterested.

Fernando Torres will help the Blues chase their first-ever Champions League title.
The one game that perfectly sums up his season came a few weeks ago with Liverpool visiting Blackpool.

Torres showed a glimpse of his world-class ability in the third minute of the match, scoring a brilliant goal from a tight angle that looked set to put Liverpool on its way to a win.

However, Torres barely showed up the rest of the game, and the Reds fell 2-1 to the promoted side.

With efforts like that it's hard to blame Liverpool for unloading Torres, especially with $80 million coming back in return.

The club really had no choice but to move on, and with replacements Luis Suarez of Ajax and Newcastle's Andy Carroll being immediately added, things could turn around for new manager Kenny Dalglish.

Dalglish, who is arguably the best striker in club history, could no doubt recognize the pure ability that Torres possesses, but he had to be frustrated by the fact that the Spaniard too often failed to produce his best form.

At Chelsea, Torres will join an already-potent attack featuring the likes of Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka, Florent Malouda and Salomon Kalou as he helps the Blues chase their first-ever Champions League title, all the while fighting for a spot in the top four in the EPL.

Meanwhile, Liverpool will toil in the Europa League as the club appears to be headed for another season outside the top four.

Liverpool is definitely a ship that is taking on a bit of water at the moment, with Torres grabbing the nearest lifeboat and getting the hell out of there.

In today's me-first climate, it shouldn't come as a surprise.

After all, it's just unfinished business.

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Contact Tim Keeble at tkeeble@sportsnetwork.com.

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