The January transfer window is imminent, moves are being planned and pre-planned and in swift attempts to shift deadwood for “transitional phases”, players are being told they can leave. One player to already fall victim to age discrimination in the workplace, is 32-year old Nicolas Anelka , who has been told he doesn’t feature in Chelsea ’s long term plans under Andre Villas-Boas , stating that, “the club has decided to work with Chelsea’s players of the future and I have accepted this.” Just how long Villas-Boas has to regiment his troops, fluctuates with the week and whether or not his vice-captain on the field of duty, Frank Lampard , is starting, or if his captain’s racially slurring his way through games next to an incompetent David Luiz.
However, as the fashionable debonair critic slayer continues to slay critics fashionably, whilst remaining debonair, “ the talent of this team is not in question,” he told reporters a week after having to defend his team’s talents, “this has been a continuous persecution of Chelsea, continuous aggression of one club. We have become your target. We have to accept it,” in the background, he’s been ushering players out of the door quietly. Some are, understandably, reluctant and are holding on to the door frame Winston-Bogarde-style.
A further five players could be set to follow Nicolas Anelka out of Stamford Bridge, however unlikely to do so in the wage-increasing style the Frenchman is, with a new path in his career in China with Shanghai Shenhua starting in January. Ivorian pair Drogba and Kalou have apparently been offered a way out, as well as the already transfer-listed Alex and Portuguese defensive duo, Paulo Ferreira and Jose Bosingwa. One player not aging, not cheap and not expected as potentially on the transfer list is Fernando Torres .
This isn’t because he’s top class, banging goals in week-in-week-out, or because he’s in high demand, this is because he cost Chelsea £50m less than a year ago. However, over thirty appearances later, Fernando Torres has spent much of his playing time in a pedestrian manner and has only scored five times. In a career that could be valued at £395,480.00 a goal, spreading his total transfer fees over his total goal count, he has cost Chelsea over twenty times that, at £10m a goal. If they do want to get shot of him, it’s to cut their losses, not make a profit.
The rumoured fee for the European Championships and World Cup medallist is as little as £20m, £30m less than Chelsea acquired him for from Liverpool , and the same fee at which the Merseyside club brought him for, before enjoying his services 81 times in front of goal in 142 appearances. At 27-years old, his career is far from over, and many a player has slumped mid-career, before reinvigorating themselves elsewhere.
It should be no different for a player that was arguably up there with the best just a few years ago. Signing him would be a gamble, but it could be a gamble that could see a player with class, just no form, signed at a cut-price deal with the ability to quickly prove his weight in gold.
Another player with just as many goals, as well as the same price-tag, as Fernando Torres in the past two months is Carlos Tevez . The difference is that one has been frozen out by his own accord, and the other has been frozen out, making just one start in his club’s last 8 games, by his manager. For Carlos Tevez , there is no questions being asked of his quality, or whether he still has it, it is over his attitude. The Argentine has managed to steal much of Manchester City ’s limelight in a season that has seen them spend the majority of it at the top. His refusal to take to the pitch, whether it happened or not, his failure to return from Argentina and countless claims and counterclaims of defamation, have hindered all the good work going on at the Etihad. January may provide both parties with a way out.
The only deliberation left, is how to get rid of him. Carlos Tevez is wanted, make no mistake about it. His clash at Manchester City is very much on a personal level, and while he is lambasted as a mercenary, a sap to the game, a bad tag to the game even, a move away is the only feasible way a reasonable judgement can be made on the player. This is where the problem lies: Mancini only wants him to leave on a permanent transfer and to a club abroad; the interest is with other English clubs or loan offers.
There is no denying that these two performers have ability in abundance. One is a shell of a former self. One currently lives in a shell. However, with reasonable fees on their heads, in a time of unproven English starlets selling for £10m, a cut-price quickfire double bid for the both of them could make a club’s season. A team such as Tottenham , a team such as Manchester United if Paul Ince is to believed on his views of Manchester United , could benefit tenfold by signing these two strikers.
However, as easily as the players could make a club’s season, they could break it. Torres has only scored 5 goals in the past 11 months and Tevez hasn’t been playing football since September. His attitude could turn on any team that takes a chance on him, and together, if both players were to act as they are currently, one club would quickly become broken.
Written by Jordan Florit from This is Futbol