Thinking the unthinkable: should Liverpool sell Torres?
It seems almost beyond dispute, though, that whenever the Spaniard is unavailable Liverpool look ill equipped to challenge for the title, a situation hardly helped by the sales of Xabi Alonso, Robbie Keane and Alvaro Arbeloa in the past year.
I realise this could come across as heresy to Liverpool fans, but might the answer be to sell Torres too?
Torres is, without question, an exceptional player but he is not irreplaceable. Liverpool have won nothing with the Spaniard in attack because they simply do not have the same in-depth quality that Chelsea and Manchester United can boast.
If Cristiano Ronaldo was worth 80 million when he moved from Manchester United to Real Madrid, Torres should command a similar figure.
With that money Liverpool could buy three, maybe four, top drawer players who would give their squad more balance. Valencia striker David Villa would cost around 30 million and would be a handy replacement for Torres, as would Atletico Madrid’s Argentine frontman Sergio Aguero. Either, or both of them, would leave manager Rafael Benitez enough left over to strengthen in other areas.
Villa’s team mate David Silva would add some creativity in Liverpool’s midfield as would Tottenham Hotspur’s midfield spark Luca Modric or his team mate Aaron Lennon, if they could be prised away.
With Liverpool’s debts unlikely to ease any time soon, Benitez will probably need to sell before bringing in new blood but few of their current squad, apart from Torres, Gerrard and midfield anchor Javier Mascherano, would raise the kind of money that they would require for a major squad overhaul.
Selling Torres might be the one step back Liverpool need to take in order to take two forward because at present they appear to be getting left behind.
PHOTO: Fernando Torres looks on during their Champions League soccer match against Fiorentina at the Artemio Franchi Stadium in Florence September 29, 2009. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi