Masked Fernando Torres imposter is doing better than the real thing for Chelsea.
Rafa Benitez says that Fernando Torres could continue to wear his protective mask until the end of the season if he keeps up his scoring run.
“He has confidence now and if he needs to keep the mask on, he will,” said Benitez to the Metro.
“He has to be comfortable. If he’s okay with the mask and has to wear it, he will go maybe until the end of the season.”
The Spanish striker has famously not been particularly prolific since moving to Stamford Bridge for the astronomical fee of £50 million in January 2011, and failed to find the net until his 14th match in a blue shirt against West Ham.
Torres did not score another Chelsea goal for the rest of that season, and his profligacy continued into the next campaign.
Six Premier League goals all season (including a hat-trick against Queens Park Rangers that meant Torres actually only scored in four of 38 league matches) is not a particularly good return for £50m, and the transfer fee seemed to haunt him.
The arrival of Rafa Benitez as Chelsea manager has seemed to galvanise Torres though, and his return this season is better.
Seven Premier League goals are not particularly impressive except when measured against the previous campaign total, but in Europe the 29 year-old has proven that perhaps class is permanent after all.
Torres has a further 7 goals from 11 starts in Europe, and that is the kind of form that prompted such an outlandish transfer fee.
Since breaking his nose against Steaua Bucharest, the Spain forward has scored four goals in three UEFA Europa League matches, and it is that which has prompted Benitez to suggest he keep on his mask.