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It’s been over a decade since Rafa signed Torres for Liverpool and there’s no doubt they are both different men now. However, this is a move which could still work for both parties with Newcastle desperate for a striker who can make an impact for them.
Benitez has worked with Torres not only at Liverpool but also at Chelsea briefly and knows the player inside and out, though a lot has changed since the Liverpool days when Torres was running the front all on his own with Gerrard backing up from midfield.
This was Benitez’s preferred way of playing and that is what screwed him up. Torres and Gerrard were the main men at Liverpool back then. The negative thing here is that Torres doesn’t cover the same ground as he used to and so a different way of playing is needed, though Newcastle don’t have a Gerrard either and so that’s a given.
It would appear that Benitez is not the only Premier League coach who is aware of Torres’ wish to come back to England though, with Southampton confirmed as another club interested in bringing the World Cup winner back.
Whatever happens, this looks likely to only be a short-term deal as Torres wants to spend next season, the last on his contract, with his boyhood club Atletico Madrid. This is precisely why it could work for Newcastle.
Between now and next season though, he wants to play regular football and sees a loan move in January to England as the best way to achieve this. Diego Costa will soon be available to play for Atletico and so in the short-term, chances will be limited, something Torres is very aware of.
From Newcastle’s point of view, they have had to shuffle Joselu, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dwight Gayle this season with none of them being up to the level of even a 33-year-old Torres. The Magpies could prioritise a huge striker signing next summer as long as their takeover goes through and so for now, finding someone with quality to hold the fort for a few months is the way to go.