Rodgers: I told Chelsea to sign Torres for £20m back in 2006

 

For the Chelsea fans out there who suspect Fernando Torres was overpriced at £50m then yesterday's revelation from Brendan Rodgers, their former reserve manager, will not go down well. He urged Chelsea to sign the striker more than five years ago when his price tag was some £30m less.

Rodgers, who takes his Swansea side to West London tomorrow, recalled how Jose Mourinho sent him to scout the striker in 2006 when Atletico Madrid were playing at Barcelona in La Liga. The then 21-year-old was inspirational, scoring two at the famous stadium, just as he had the year before.

"It was the Nou Camp, he was young, he was the captain, he was fantastic, he scored two great goals," said Rodgers. "He was one hell of a talent, the timing and skill... he was the real catalyst for Atletico who were very good at the time."

Rodgers' report back to his manager was unequivocal. "My recommendation was to take him," he said. Yet Chelsea failed to seal the deal and Torres remained at his home club. The rest is history and no small amount ofhysteria.

The next year Torres joined Liverpool for £20m and after three seasons which yielded 65 goals in 102 appearances, not to mention a European Championship and a World Cup with Spain, he shocked football in January by joining Chelsea for £50m. If only they had listened to Rodgers in the first place. But as far as the Swansea manager is concerned, Chelsea are still on to a sure thing; despite that miss.

"He actually did well; it was great skill in the first place to beat the keeper," said Rodgers. "Yeah, like everyone, I thought he had to score; put it this way, Ronny Rosenthal will be happy. That's the reality but he will move on and will be looking to score on Saturday."

Indeed, Rodgers wished Torres had fired into that empty Manchester United net. He heads to Stamford Bridge, for his first visit there since leaving for Watford in 2008, fearing a Fernando backlash.

"It would have been easier for us [tomorrow] if he had scored," he said. "Strikers rely on two things – goals and games. Torres was aggressive last weekend and I enjoyed that, because it was something he hadn't been of late. It's obvious he's been having problems with injury but you saw last week he's getting back to where he wants to be. There's no hiding from the fact: he's a world-class striker and will soon return to that form."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us