Demba Ba arrival will improve Fernando Torres says Rafael Benitez

Former Newcastle manager provides competition for Spaniard

Interim manager Rafael Benitez believes Demba Ba's arrival at Chelsea will help make Fernando Torres a better player.

The Spain international had been considered a £50million flop until a recent upturn in form, which coincided with the appointment of his former Liverpool mentor.

Torres was Chelsea's first-choice striker for the first half of the campaign regardless of form, although Ba's arrival threatens that role.

The 27-year-old scored twice on his Blues debut against Southampton on Saturday and Benitez believes the former Newcastle striker will be good for Torres.

"Ba coming will be better for Torres, 100 per cent," Benitez said. "Not many players play every game in a top side, as he has had to, and now it will be positive for both of them.

"They will be fitter, maybe they will score more goals because they will have more chances and will be in better positions.

"Fernando is an experienced player and he knows football. We have spoken to both of them and they each know the role of the other, that they'll have a lot of games and will have a big part to play.

"Every session I can see Fernando is training well and trying to improve. Even when he's not scoring, he's working hard and doing things for the team.

"We have tried to fix things to improve his strength, a specific programme. If you do that, normally he can be quicker. It takes time, and I think it's improving.

"He's a bit quicker, but the biggest problem was he was playing too many games. Especially against QPR, some players were a bit tired, had too much fatigue. But having both Torres and Ba means both can do well."

Torres remained on the bench throughout Saturday's 5-1 FA Cup win at Southampton and could return against Swansea today.

Petr Cech, John Terry, John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses are all out for the Capital One Cup semi-final first leg, which kicks off a period of eight games in 25 days for Chelsea.

"When you are a top side you know you have to play twice a week, but because of Japan and the time we had to go there, we have been playing a lot of games," Benitez said.

"It's difficult for us to plan and prepare training sessions. Monday's was another light session and you can't do everything you want to do.

"We have to try to do tactical adjustments in every session, so it's quite complicated, but in a top side it has to be like this."

And Benitez has also warned fans of changes to the squad, refusing to rule out the possibility that popular players could leave the club.

"I think it's always easy to talk about the legends, and you have to have a lot of respect for them because what they've achieved for this club has been fantastic," Benitez added.

"But you have to have new players - it could be English or foreign, it doesn't matter - and carry on winning games.

"That's what the fans are expecting. Everyone knows the legends have been here and what they have achieved, but you have to see new players coming. It's part of life."

Asked about the importance of emotional attachment to players, Benitez said: "That is the good thing about English football. You have good memories and you respect people who achieve something for a club. That's very positive.

"But, at the same time, you have to think about the future. You cannot be waiting.

"You have to move forward, bring in new players and at the same time try and bring the best out of those you have. You have to use their experience, too."

PA

Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis speaks to his French teacher
tvThe Boy in the Dress, TV review
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Life and Style
Mark's crab tarts are just the right size
food + drinkMark Hix cooks up some snacks that pack a punch
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all