Monday 20 November 2017

Competition key for Torres - Di Matteo

Roberto Di Matteo wants big things from Fernando Torres this season
Roberto Di Matteo wants big things from Fernando Torres this season

Roberto Di Matteo insists it is vital that Fernando Torres faces serious competition up front this season amid reports Chelsea were still hoping to sign Andre Schurrle before the transfer window closes on Friday night.

Di Matteo on Thursday denied Torres was finally thriving at Stamford Bridge because Didier Drogba was no longer on the scene, with the Spaniard's only rival now Daniel Sturridge.

"Competition is very important for a professional sportsman," he said. "I don't think the way Fernando has started this season is because Drogba is not here. He started this season very well, with a lot of confidence, but there's competition there. We have Daniel Sturridge as well. Competition is very important for us."

Torres made no secret of the fact that being a guaranteed starter had helped him rediscover the form that convinced Chelsea to pay a record £50million for him in January last year.

"When you feel the confidence of everyone and you're in the line-up normally, the confidence is easier to have back," he said. "You know you're going to play, or think you are.

"That's the main difference between this and the previous one and a half seasons at Chelsea. I'm playing more minutes and the confidence is back."

It has been suggested Chelsea would consider loaning out Sturridge were they to reach an agreement with Bayer Leverkusen over Schurrle before 11pm.

The European champions have already seen a bid thought to be in the region of £16million rejected for the Germany star this summer and are reportedly hoping to succeed with a £20million offer.

Di Matteo refused to reveal whether there would be any more comings and goings at Chelsea before the transfer window closed, with reports suggesting Michael Essien was even been sought on loan by Arsenal.

Yossi Benayoun announced on Thursday he was in talks with two Barclays Premier League clubs over such a move having spent almost all of last season with the Gunners.

Press Association

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