AVB - Torres still worth £50m
Andre Villas-Boas has offered his support to Fernando Torres by insisting the Chelsea striker can still be considered a £50million player.
Last Updated: 19/11/11 11:58am
Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has offered his support to Fernando Torres by insisting the striker can still be considered a £50million player.
Torres cost Chelsea that sum in January, but the Spain international has scored just five goals in 30 appearances since his big-money move from Liverpool.
He is due to face his former club at Stamford Bridge on Sunday and is yet to recapture the form which made him such a potent marksman during his time on Merseyside.
However, Villas-Boas is pleased with Torres' contribution for Chelsea this season and has highlighted that there is more to the 27-year-old's game than just scoring goals.
"It's not bad," Villas-Boas said, denying suggestions Torres had gone off the boil again after netting four times in four games between September and October.
"It's not just a question of numbers and goalscoring. It's about how you make your team perform around you."
Villas-Boas added: "He's one of the best (with) assists at the club - four or five.
"He's assisting people and the team are getting wins out of it.
"Sometimes we don't get all the wins we wanted, but we get the goalscoring opportunities for us to win games."
Asked whether Torres was still a £50million player and if he would pay the same money for him today, Villas-Boas was unequivocal, stating: "Of course.
Liverpool fans were furious when Torres quit Anfield and they took great delight at seeing him hauled off on his debut in Chelsea's 1-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge in February.
The Spaniard will almost certainly be jeered by the travelling contingent in Sunday's Premier League clash between the sides, but Villas-Boas said: "We cannot fight these things.
"In any game, the opponents' supporters will like this one better or worse than another one. This is normal.
"As long as it's within limits and not abusive or foul language."
Torres said this week that Liverpool fans still did not know the truth about his move, suggesting the club had not been entirely honest over his departure.
He also admitted he had enjoyed his best days at Anfield, something Villas-Boas did not dispute, commenting: "Fernando's best moments in terms of goalscoring were the Liverpool days.
"That does not mean those days won't arrive in this club and that does not mean that at the moment he is not performing for the team, because he is."