Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo has dismissed any concerns regarding the mindset of striker Fernando Torres, who will be asked to take charge of the Blues’ attack next season.
Torres had a turbulent 2011-12 season with Chelsea, winning the FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League trophies but playing sparingly behind the in-form Didier Drogba.
Veteran Drogba moved on to the Shanghai Shenhua earlier this summer, leaving Torres with the responsibility of living up to his £50 million transfer fee that was paid in January 2011.
Di Matteo is the third manager that Torres has seen during the first 19 months of his Blues career and the Italian has assured the club’s supporters that he expects the Spaniard to report back to training in good mood following his nation’s Euro 2012 triumph.
“I did speak to Torres after the final, I had a chat with him the morning after and we have been in touch since as well,” Di Matteo told Chelsea’s official website.
When asked to explain the Spaniard’s publicly expressed disappointment at coming on as a late substitute in the Champions League final, the manager added: “It was a feeling he had at the time. There are no concerns about Fernando at all and I am expecting him here in a good mood, buzzing and to be very good next season.
“I was very happy with Fernando [last season]. I said this many times and winning the Euro 2012 Golden Boot, being European champion and the trophies he won with us should give him a lot of confidence – but I was always very happy with him and I expect him next season to be a fantastic player for us.”
For all those who feel that Torres is likely to become overwhelmed carrying the attacking load for Chelsea next season, Di Matteo has also clarified that he is counting on contributions from all his forwards.
“We have three strikers at the moment in the squad and they will all have to fight and there is competition which is very healthy. They will have to fight for their position and whoever is in the best form and is best for the team will play,” RDM concluded.