Selling Fernando Torres was the best business Liverpool have done in almost a decade

Acquiring £50m for an out of form striker is not bad business at allAlthough it’s obvious that £50m is a massive sum of money, when Fernando Torres completed a deadline day move to Chelsea, it was thought to be a reasonably appropriate figure give the quality of the player and today’s current market. Needless to say things have changed in the past three months and Andy Carroll’s £35m signature now looks to be the more valuable of the two. Since Newcastle-born Carroll traded allegiances to The Reds, they’ve seen a U-turn in form and now look ready to secure European football for next season, something they couldn’t have said in January.

So, what’s the reason for the recent turnaround at the Merseyside outfit? Despite scoring a brace against Manchester City last month, Carroll hasn’t made a massive impact quite yet due to injuries, so it wouldn’t be fair to say he’s responsible, even though a magnificent forward pair is very much in the making there. The second coming of ‘King Kenny’ Dalglish is certainly a telling factor. His assumption of the throne following Roy Hodgson’s departure has been successful to say the least, but again it would be hard to say the Scot is the sole responsibility for the club’s positive displays for most of 2011. The only other change we can think of therefore is Torres.

The forward netted nine times in his last six months at Anfield. Many managers would be pleased with this amount, but for a player who scored 33 goals in his debut season, he wasn’t really reaching heights he’d seen in the past. As his Liverpool career began to dwindle, the Spaniard became petulant, lazier and a move away from the club was inevitable. Sometimes, in cases where the ‘superstar’ of a club isn’t pulling their weight it drags the rest of the team down. As you’d guess, this has a detrimental effect on results and in Liverpool’s case their already spiralling reputation only accelerated. Before 31st January 2011, Liverpool had failed to score in a league match on five occasions. They haven’t done so since.

New acquisitions Carroll and Luis Suarez were near enough paid for with the sale of Torres. Uruguayan Suarez’s signature was assured shortly before Torres’ exit and £23m is looking like good business. The former Ajax striker left the Dutch giants with 111 goals scored in only 159 appearances. A monumental record made all the sweeter with the addition that the 24 year-old managed to notch up more goals than games in his last season in Holland. When you consider that Aston Villa paid a similar amount for Darren Bent, the South American is looking like better value for money by the game.

The Torres curse didn’t cease in Liverpool though. He seemed to have brought his baggage to London, psychological as well as material. Nearly three months in the blue of Chelsea and El Nino finally found the goal in a 3-0 win over West Ham on 23rd April. It almost took Andy Carroll just as long to net for The Reds but thankfully he had an injury to excuse himself from his long omission from the score sheet. Regardless, the likes of Dirk Kuyt and Maxi Rodriguez have been in fine enough form since January to assure that Liverpool stay on their course to 5th place.

The return of Steven Gerrard will only bolster them further and it looks as if the Torres aftermath at The Kop was short lived, if not non-existent. Rumours are now flying about that Chelsea’s most expensive addition won’t stop with the goals. That’s all well and good if it turns out to be true. All I know is, he’s still costing a certain Russian oil tycoon about £50m per goal.

Tom is one of our most experienced contributors, with over a decade of online publishing. A Man Utd fan, Thomas brings you all the latest news from UK football.

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