Fernando Torres enjoying his return to Atletico Madrid


Fernando Torres has been in fine scoring form with Atletico Madrid so far this season, scoring two goals in as many league starts. The former Liverpool striker, 31, showcased his clinical finishing with strikers against Barcelona and Eibar in recent weeks, and could well be in for a prolific campaign if he can continue his purple patch in front of goal.

Competing with new-boy Jackson Martinez for a place up front, manager Diego Simeone believes the duo’s fine form will see them partnering each other in attack this season. “Of course they can (play together), why not? They are compatible players. Jackson and Fernando are different types of players, one is left-footed, one right-footed, and they could be compatible. We want to have competition for places. We always look to put out the players who can win us the game,” he said.

Against Barcelona, the Spanish international latched onto a through ball in the middle of the park, and coolly finished under pressure past Marc-Andre ter Stegen with his first touch. He was a threat against the Catalans, having six chances on goal while winning five aerial duels, before being brought off on the hour mark.

Signed from AC Milan in January, Fernando Torres took his time to find his feet on his return, but performances did enough to impress his manager. Goals dried up a number of years ago with former clubs, but he’s currently enjoying his best run in the Spanish La Liga. Not turning 32 until March, the fleet-footed striker seems much happier with supporters who idolised him in his first stint.

His Eibar goal was more instinctive, and saw Torres freeing himself from his marker to collect a through ball, before chipping over goalkeeper Asier Riesgo. Coming on as a second-half substitute, the striker scored and created a goal, while doing his defensive work too. Despite a lot of competition for a starting place, Torres’ form sees him getting regular action under Diego Simeone in 2015.

The last time he hit double figures for goals was all the way back in 2009/10, with subsequent seasons at Liverpool, Chelsea and Atletico Madrid yielding pitiful tallies in the Premier League and La Liga respectively. He bagged over 90 goals in his first spell with Atleti, and an emotional return to his boyhood club is finally reaping the rewards.

Enjoying his second stint at the Vicente Calderon, the experienced hitman has four goals from his last eight games stretching back to the end of previous season, and is looking worth the gamble on an 18-month loan spell. He’s already one goal shy of match last season’s tally in the division, and will be hopeful of hitting double figures come May.

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