Fernando Torres was an incredible player when he arrived in the Premier League. He took no time to adjust to life at Liverpool, finishing third in Ballon d'Or voting as he notched 33 goals in his debut season.
While he continued to perform to a very high level over the next couple of seasons, it wasn't long before the Spaniard's form started to drop off. Many believed that was down to Liverpool's struggled as opposed to the player himself, but a move to Chelsea proved he was no longer the deadly striker he was when he arrived in England.
Apparently, many Liverpool players knew Torres was no longer the player he once was.
Speaking on Sky Sports yesterday, Jamie Carragher said he could not believe that Liverpool managed to extract a £50million fee from Chelsea when Torres left Anfield in January of 2011.
I couldn't believe it, and what I mean by that is I knew we had kidded Chelsea. I had played with Torres then and probably the last 12 months he was a shadow of his former self.
I think for 18 months at Liverpool he was probably the best striker in the world. He had such a good record against Chelsea that that probably stuck in the owner's mind. Not so much the manager's, because they had so many different managers.
At that stage Chelsea were still a club where the owner was buying players that he wanted. I think Shevchenko was a similar case as well.
What happened for us, and it was very fortunate for Liverpool, was we played Chelsea that season. We were having a poor season, Torres was having a difficult time, but he scored two against Chelsea.
I think a decision was probably made then from Roman Abramovich that 'as soon as January comes we are going for Fernando Torres'. £50million was major money at that stage and we were all in a state of shock.
We all knew he wasn't going to be the same player. We couldn't believe we got £50million.
— Liverpool FC (Premier League Champions 🏆) (@LFC) November 7, 2015
Emotions in London were far different.
Torres had long tormented Chelsea, boasting a massively impressive goalscoring record against the club. He scored against them seven times whilst a Liverpool player.
John Terry confirmed that Roman Abramovich had long been keeping an eye on the player, and the Chelsea squad believed his signing would make them the dominant force in European football.
From a Chelsea point of view, he was the one I hated playing against. He always seemed to score at Anfield or Stamford Bridge.
He was that one player that Roman would always ask about, was he tough to play against and all that. Yossi [Benayoun] was quite close to him and he was at Chelsea. He was like 'Fernando is on his way' and we were like 'no way'.
We thought we were absolutely going to dominate the Premier League and Europe for the next five or six years. That was our thoughts from playing against him.
It's fair to say things didn't work out for Torres at Stamford Bridge. While he would win a Champions League, FA Cup, and Europa League with Chelsea, he didn't really play a major role in those successes.