Calls for Fernando Torres renewal get louder

Pressure grows on the club to offer El Niño a contract extension

Torres celebrates scoring for Atlético earlier in the season

Torres celebrates scoring for Atlético earlier in the season

Dreams coming true is something that Atlético Madrid fans have been able to get used to over the past couple of years.

A La Liga crown, a Copa del Rey final win at the home of and against our deadliest rivals, and a continued drive to disrupt the duopoly at the top of the Spanish league.

Just over 12 months ago, los rojiblancos were lucky enough to witness the return of a club legend and icon, as Fernando Torres returned to the Vicente Calderón after seven-and-a-half years away.

Tears were cried, shirts were bought, and 40,000 of the Atlético faithful packed the Calderón to greet an old friend. It was a day we will never forget.

El Niño signed an 18 month loan deal to join from AC Milan, with Alessio Cerci moving in the other direction.

Now the discussion on whether or not Fernando Torres should be granted an extension to this deal dominates discussion on social media, and with the introduction of a transfer ban (subject to an appeal), the question moves further into the spotlight.

The 31-year-old enjoyed a bright start to his return to Atlético, and has gone on to score eight goals so far in his second spell. However the striker has struggled since and has been stuck on 99 career goals for Atlético since September.

With new strikers signed in the summer, there has been growing speculation that this season could be Torres’ last at the Vicente Calderón.

If the club plans to let El Niño ride off into the sunset to somewhere like the MLS, they need to act quickly to secure a replacement.

It’s likely that the club won’t be able to bring in any players until at least the summer of 2017, and despite a wealth of striking options, only Antoine Griezmann can seem to find the back of the net at the moment.

Jackson Martínez has been a huge disappointment so far, and has only managed 3 goals in his 1,000 minutes on the field for Atleti so far this season.

Ángel Correa and Luciano Vietto are the other two forwards available to partner Griezmann up front, and while both look extremely promising, neither has been entirely convincing in the game time they have had so far.

Elsewhere in La Liga, Borja Bastón finally living up to his potential with ten goals this season so far for Eibar. That’s the same number as a certain Lionel Messi. Borja is a ready made replacement should the club decide to let Torres’ contract expire.

In our Twitter poll, as of 8pm on the 18th January, 67% of fans wanted Torres to stay at Atlético.

If Atlético do let him walk, I hope to Torres that the legend manages to get his 100th career goal in red and white first.

#TorresRojiblanco was trending on Twitter on Friday, with fans calling for the renewal of El Niño loud and clear. But will the club listen?

  • Usavicente Calderon

    I don’t think we need him. BUT! I would sell Jackson before El Nino. And then bring back Borja Baston. Vietto, Correa, Corrasco and Griezmann is all we need up front. Torres should be a super sub and only go in when we are winning the game. I really hate saying that, but it is honest.

  • nandes

    It’s hard to discuss this now, with him injured and having barely played in the new year, so I hope those claims that there’s possibility of only renewing (or not) his contract in june are true. Hopefully he gets to finish the season in a better way, no matter what happens

  • aileen

    If the club doesn`t listen to the fans it means only one thing and it`s not good one :something bad is going on. With our mentality, values, policy.They, until now based on loyalty, hardwork, sacrifice would be replaced by buying one- season starlets, who are interested in money and fast /shortlasting success, fame and joining `big` clubs next season, on manager`s national preferences (Southamericans mainly ) and changing opinions about people very fast.Breaking promises,neglecting dressing room and fans voice,instead of accepting(normal ) lower form periods and believing in people.Sad

  • Paweł Kosiński

    Too many Atleti fans let emotions cloud their judgment and rationale. Our other canterano Borja Bastón is in free-scoring form at Eibar, but no – let’s keep a washed up veteran just because he’s a legend, a true rojiblanco. When he’s 40 will he be given another contract extension just because some folks on Twitter post #TorresRojiblanco? Why not give him a coaching job or something alike? Keeping your values intact is a virtue, but so is knowing when to leave with honor.

  • Paweł Kosiński

    Borja Bastón surely is one of these.

  • Koke

    I hate to be the pessimist but I don’t think Torres should be renewed, based on what we’ve seen from him so far. Obviously, he could change my mind if he comes back from injury and does really well for the rest of the season, which I hope happens! But if you really consider what he has contributed, is he really good enough for a team with La Liga and CL aspirations? (make no mistake, those should be our goals based on Atleti’s current stance in the world game).

    I’m a big fan of what Baston is doing at Eibar and would love to see him come back. Besides Borja, I think there are a couple strikers out there that would be cheap and would make more effective subs than Torres has been. Unpopular opinion here, but I honestly think that if Raul Jimenez would have been given as many minutes as Torres has, he would have scored way more goals.

    Yes, el Nino is a legend and his moments of brilliance against Barca and Madrid in the last year show he still has class. But he has never in the last 12 months (or 4 years) demonstrated that he is in form. It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to keep him on as a super sub, but Torres is having a bad season and shows no signs that he is getting better. Sorry to be the cynic/devil’s advocate!

  • aileen

    Borja Baston ? Another young, talented and in -form youngster who will want to play in a `big`(for big money ) club next season .You `ll see;)
    There are also seven or eight other in each once. Atletico is European club, isn`t it? ?

  • aileen

    No clouds or overemotional judgment.Torres is a picture of club values, always hardworking, winning really important games for his club, an example for youngsters, having a great impact on the dressing room.He doesn`t score because Simeone is adopting all the possible defensive techniques (maybe training before Chelsea job, don`t know ) not because he is a veteran who is not able to play football anymore. .Leaving with honor is about a footballer who is 35 or over why then you are not calling for Tiago or Gabi to leave with it?

  • Kris

    I mean some of the best players we’ve had over the years have left for ‘big’ club & money. Those players have helped us get to where we are. I don’t know why you’re being so ’emo’ about this. It’s simple.

    They are just working, as in they’re doing jobs. They go to whichever club they want, and you can’t force them to stay because it’s not slavery. If they help you become a better team in the time that they do stay with us, then what’s wrong with that?

    Perhaps we can follow Athletic Club in the way they deal with their players and transfers, but where’s that gotten them? Just always mid-table, sometimes if fortunate CL, but mostly Europa, and sometimes barely above the relegation zone, although I very dearly respect them and their playing style.

    It’s a job. They want to get paid, want to get richer. Most of our team will probably join another club for mega money if offered, does that mean we shouldn’t relish on what they’ve been able ti accomplish?

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Many people still don’t understand the situation :
    1- We are not talking about a renewal, Torres doesn’t belong to us, he is on loan from Milan, and it’s the last year in his contract, so he is free to sign for a new club this January .
    2- We can not wait until the summer because the ban, so we have to decide in this two weeks .

    There is also a big misjudgment about Torres :
    He is not our first striker or even second striker, if he was then why the hell did we spend 55 million on Jackson & Vietto, while we also had Grizi & Angelito ?!
    Torres was supposed to be our 3rd striker, a super sub, or you can call it an “emergency choice” something like Drogba with Chelsea last season, an experienced player, a legend, a leader on the pitch, the bench & the dressing room, and an image for the club who can benefit it financially .
    But Torres became our 1st choice in many games because the 55-million Jackson and Vietto were a disappointment as well, but they didn’t suffer that -let me say- abuse from some Atleti fans like Torres who only cost one Cerci !!

    Torres also still is a good player, he’s just having some bad luck and very big “unfair” pressure, as I repeated many times : without Torres’ goals last season, especially those in the last few weeks against Villarreal & Levante we would have been playing in Europa League this season, and without his assist and his goal against Eibar this season we wouldn’t have been leaders . He scored only 8 goals since his return, but half of them were against RM & Barca .

    Torres won’t block Borja’s return, if we brought Borja back it will be to replace Jackson, and he will have to fight with Vietto for the first spot, and Torres will stay our 3rd choice, while if Jackson proved his worth and started to score many goals so we should keep all our 3 strikers, and loan Borja to a bigger club than Eibar, because he can’t afford to be a third choice or even a second choice, as I said : never forget that this is his very first season in a top division league, he still needs more time .

    I am very sure that Torres has no problem of being our 3rd striker, and has no problem of getting paid low, he said many times that his happiness is to stay here, to win a trophy here, to retire here, even if he didn’t say that, just look at his celebration for Thomas goal against Levante -when didn’t play a single minute- he ran from the bench to the corner to celebrate with his teammates .

    Sign Torres this January before you are banned, then you can let him go any time you want .
    I don’t think we are asking for much .

  • Paweł Kosiński

    Because we don’t rely on Gabi and Tiago when it comes to scoring department, simple as that. To complement current Cholo’s defensive tactics (as you’ve rightly noticed), we need a striker (to partner Griezmann upfront), who has one chance and can score two goals from it. Costa was that guy and now Griezmann is. But then we can keep Torres, recall Perea & Antonio López from retirement and get relegated. Whatever. I’d still be an Atleti fan, but when something doesn’t work, you change it, that’s the way ot the world.

  • Mitch

    Ahmad Hossainy, you are truly great and you analytical skills are excellent! Torres is playing with his heart and for the club.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Thank you .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Some people don’t like to hear stuff like “playing with his heart and for the club” as Mitch said, or ” he is our boy” and ” he gave too much to the club” like I and other people said, they call it emotions, romanticizing and unprofessionalism .
    But the truth is : these things really do matter .
    How many times did El Cholo repeated words like : “huevos”, “hombres” and “sentido de pertenencia” (sense of belonging) ?! and he really meant it, and it really made a difference, want a proof, here is one :
    How many La Liga titles did Cristiano win for Real Madrid in his 6 seasons with them ?!
    Only one, just like Raul Garcia, Adrian & Aranzubia !
    He also only won one UCL, and with too much luck, not just against us in the final but in many games through the competition, especially against Bayern .
    This is because he doesn’t give a shit about RM, he only cares about the Golden Ball & the Golden Boot, that’s why you always see him upset when he doesn’t score, even if his team won 6-0 .

    I repeated many times that one of our biggest keys of success is having too many people with sense of belonging, not just the players, who are either homegrown (5 or 6 players every season) or outsiders who became big fans of this club, like Raul, Godin & Juanfran, but also the coaching staff and the directors, Simeone, Mono, Vizcaino, Caminero & Clemente Villaverde, general director of football & board member are all former players of the club .

    Jesus Pitarch was a great sporting director, he built a great team for Valencia that won two La Liga & UEFA Cup titles, but he made some horrible signings for us and with a big amounts of money, because he didn’t care a lot, Caminero would never do that to his Atleti .
    Varane would never make one of those head tackles that Gimenez do .
    Griezmann would never complain if he sat on the bench like James .
    Oliver would never laugh on the bench if we conceded a goal like Isco .
    You will never see our players conspire against their coach to get him sacked .
    You will never see two of our players fighting in the training like Costa & Oscar .

    Those are not emotions and sweet speech and empty words, this is our identity, this is what we are, this is what brings us success, and we all have witnessed the results of that in the last few years .

    But people always forget .

  • Hannu

    Yeah exactly right! And actually Torres has been better than 35 million Jackson. Jackson out and Borja Baston in and keep Torres thats how it should be done.

  • aileen

    So you said: a future of a player should depend of current ideas of a manager, yes ?
    Very current ideas taking summer (this summer )plans of Cholo to play offensively with 4-4-2 with offensive and creative midfielders instead of DM`s only.If 10 people are to defend there is slight possibility that only one who is CF will be scoring.No matter if his name is Torres/Martinez/Vietto/Jimenez/Mandzukic or anybody else.
    There was a coach called Jose Mourinho who has an ideal plan how to ruin a team :first sold all the players who didn`t match his present ( don`t know how to call it )puzzle or what:/ next started to hunt for players from another clubs, and if they didn`t match either benched them, playing unfair games with judging somebody after ten minutes cameo, bought next ones conflicting players with himself as well as with each other, next lost everything he could and finally was fired.
    Looking for a striker who as you stated-will score two goals from one situation could be longer than Cholo`s career at Atleti.

  • aileen

    Ahmad, you have written all the truth!
    Perfectly described in fact.Thanks

  • Vishal Panjiar

    Expecting a player to come as a supersub when the team is winning is helping a bird fly n not giving him wings..We are talking about Torres not having been able to score since September..factually since scoring consecutively in two games, he hardly has had any playing time, interestingly didnt play the very next game..When Zlatan at 34 is still a goal machine for PSG, how n on what grounds should Torres call it shots at 31, is that dignity for a sportsperson, actually thats giving up. Honestly with Simeone’s defensive tactics we might have ended on top but our brand of football is really boring n frustrating..smaller teams like Rayo n Celta Vigo play really attractively n win hearts. I very strongly recommend n hope a renewal of his contract.

  • ChelFCsea

    Torres is more loved by Atleti fans than players like Aguero ever was.
    Torres is El Nino, the youngest captain in the clubs history. He deserves an extension, he must be allowed to retire at the club he loves.