Jamie Carragher admits he ‘could not believe’ that Chelsea paid £50m for Fernando Torres following the forward’s controversial move from Liverpool to Stamford Bridge in 2011.
Torres established himself as one of the finest forwards in European football during a prolific three-and-a-half-year spell at Liverpool, scoring 81 goals in just 142 appearances for the club before heading to the capital on a dramatic deadline day nine years ago.
The move saw Torres become the most expensive player in British football history but he struggled to replicate his previous form during a disappointing spell at Chelsea, scoring just once in his first 18 appearances in all competitions after arriving in the winter window.
Carragher admits he was surprised by the Blues’ big-money bid for the Spanish star, admitting he had already seen signs of decline in his former teammate following his brief period as one of the division’s best.
“I couldn’t believe it. And what I mean by that was I knew we’d kidded Chelsea,” Carragher told Sky Sports. “I’d played with Torres then for the past 12 months and he was a shadow of his former self. I think for 18 months at Liverpool he was the best striker in the world.
“I think he had such a good record against Chelsea, and that may have sort of stuck in the owner’s mind. He scored two against Chelsea that season, when we won 2-0 under Roy Hodgson. And I think the decision was probably made then for Roman Abramovich.
“I mean £50m was major money at that stage, and I think we were in a state of shock. Of course we were gutted Torres was going, but we could not believe we’d got £50m.
“We ended up probably doing something similar ourselves in some ways, getting Andy Carroll for £35m, but we also got Luis Suarez out of it. I was not surprised at all that it didn’t go well for Fernando Torres at Chelsea.”