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Fernando Torres made a stunning £50m transfer from Liverpool to Chelsea in January 2011, which was a then British record.
Then Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti opted to start Torres immediately after joining the club, with Liverpool as his first game for the Blues, but the Spaniard was substituted after just 66 minutes having struggled to make an impact, much to the delight of the travelling Liverpool supporters who had jeered him constantly throughout the match.
Former Liverpool defender Jamue Carragher believes that Torres was featured too soon for the Blues.
“I remember his first game was actually against Liverpool,” Carragher said in an interview alongside John Terry for Sky Sports.
“It was my first game back after I dislocated my shoulder and I think Ancelotti put him straight in. I always thought it was a massive mistake putting him straight in because it was Liverpool.
“Liverpool fans were giving him stick, Chelsea fans still not loving him, but obviously he’s a new player, they don’t know too much about him. And I just thought he should never have played in that game.
“I know he was the big-money signing. Would that have been pressure from above on Carlo Ancelotti to play him in that game? I always thought it was a massive mistake. We won the game, he got a lot of stick and I’m sure it affected him.”
It took three months for Torres to score his first Chelsea goal, as the Spaniard had gone 732 minutes without a goal for Chelsea and looked desperately short of confidence in his 13 previous appearances.
However, John Terry believes that Ancelotti wasn’t under pressure to play Torres, and hinted that the boss had a huge problem in fixing Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka and Torres in the same team.
“I’m not sure it would’ve been pressure from above,” Terry said in response to Carragher.
“Carlo definitely wasn’t that type of manager to listen to the board if they were kind of pushing. We kind of changed our formation, really. I think it was Didier and Fernando up front with Anelka in behind.
“We had three unbelievable strikers and we tried to fit them in together. We had enough fire power in Didier and Anelka, whether Anelka was wide or just behind, to then bring Fernando on later in the game which would’ve been a good impact for him, I think.
“But it seemed after that game his confidence was shot to bits, to be honest.”