Fernando “The Kid” Torres has become the sixth most expensive transfer in football history after Liverpool got to an agreement with Chelsea for E 58 million.
When Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea FC in June of 2003, the club quickly gained a reputation of being a big money spender, as they invested approximately E 130millon in the first season and close to E 107 million in the following one. Once the new players were consolidated in the team the investment during the next seasons was decreased. But in this winter’s transfer market the Blues have gone back to their origins of Abramovich’s era spending E83 million for Liverpool’s striker, Spaniard Fernando Torres, and E25 million for Benfica’s defender, Brazilian David Luiz. To that amount, E30 million more should be added from the summer transfer market for a total investment of E113 million in the 2010-11 season.
The defending champions find themselves in the fourth place of the Premier League standings with 41 points after 23 games, ten points less than the leaders Manchester United, and the outlook is not good at all, as the Red Devils continue to perform at a great pace and are still undefeated. Added to this, two new contenders -Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur – have joined the fight for the top seats that prior to this season had been a matter of four between Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United.
Aware of the high price to play for not clinching one of the first four places that give access to the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League, and acknowledging that they seriously needed reinforcements to make this possible, Abramovich didn’t hesitate to spend what was needed to guarantee their success.
With the fresh inflow of money from “The Kid” Torres transfer into the coffers of Liverpool, the Reds had the tough task of replacing a player who scored 81 goals in 142 appearances with them. They also agreed to transfer Dutch striker Ryan Babel to Hoffenheim from Germany, for whom they received E7 million in exchange and had another vacant to cover. After going through the winter market Liverpool decided that the best way to invest that money was signing two top class young players.
The reds went ahead and signed 24 year old Ajax striker, Uruguayan Luis Suarez, for E26.5 million. The 2010 Dutch Footballer of the Year leaves behind three and a half seasons where he scored 111 goals in 159 appearances with Ajax. His partner in the attack will be the also just signed and 22 year old Newcastle striker, English Andy Carroll, for whom they paid E40 million. With that deal Carroll became the most expensive British football player ever. He stills needs to mature to become a feared striker, but his conditions show that he has what it takes. In 91 appearances for Newcastle he scored 33 goals. Not bad for a youngster who already made his debut with the English National team on November of 2010, and has real chances of being a starter at the Euro 2012.
The other two important transfers that took place in the Premier League during the winter market were Sunderland’s striker, English Darren Bent, to Aston Villa in exchange for E28 million, which set a club record. And Wolfsburg striker, Bosnian Edin Dzeko, E32 million move to Manchester City also set a record, but in the Bundesliga for the highest departure fee paid ever. Dzeko comes to replace Togolese Emmanuel Adebayor, who left to Real Madrid on loan.
The winter market is now closed, and if teams didn’t make the right moves, they will have to wait until the end of the season to make the adjustments needed.