Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has told Cadena COPE that coach Diego Simeone was behind the decision to sign Fernando Torres.
Atletico confirmed on Monday that Torres is set to return to the club on an 18-month loan from AC Milan, subject to a medical, with Alessio Cerci set to move in the opposite direction as part of the agreement.
Cerezo said Simeone had specifically requested that the 30-year-old be brought back to the Calderon, despite knowing it would be a complicated deal.
“Simeone hardly ever asks us for anything but he asked for Torres,” he said in quotes translated by AS. “It wasn’t easy to bring him back here but after a lot of hard work, we made it possible. It’s a happy and important day for Atleti.”
Fabio Capello is one manager who believes Simeone can provide the boost to Torres’ confidence, as well as tactical coaching, that will lift the 30-year-old out of his slump.
‘Torres has got it all, but has lost his way a bit and is struggling to score goals,’ Capello told Spanish paper Marca at the Globe Soccer Conference in Dubai.
‘He has lost the confidence he had at Liverpool and during his first stint at Atletico.
‘Simeone is going to make Torres come good. It is not only to do with systems: it is a confidence thing.
‘Torres has become a bit subdued but is going to rediscover what he has lost thanks to Cholo (Simeone’s nickname), who is going to reinvigorate him.’
Since Simeone has been at Atleti he has had Diego Costa, Falcao, David Villa and Mario Mandzukic as his centre forwards. Torres used to be in the class but he hasn’t shown that he is a World Class striker since the 2009-10 season.
Rafa Benitez could not get Torres back to his best at Chelsea and I have my doubts that even Diego Simeone can turn the clock back on this aging striker.