Fernando Torres was finally unveiled at Anfield on Wednesday afternoon following his record Â£26.5m move from Atletico Madrid. The Spanish forward has been given the number 9 shirt and will hope to follow in the footsteps of it’s former occupant Robbie Fowler.
Torres has signed a six year contract on a speculated Â£90,000 per week – a pay cut from his Atletico deal where he was their club captain since age 19. The 23 year old said “The Liverpool offer arrived and I told the club to listen to that offer as that is the team I wanted to play for.”
Earlier in the season he was spotted with the words ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ on the inside of his captain’s armband and today he said of his arrival at Liverpool:
“It’s one of the best, if not the best, club in Europe.”
Torres had passed a medical and agreed personal terms on Tuesday after cutting his holiday short to make the move happen after the two clubs had agreed the fee over the weekend. He then flew back to Madrid to say farewell to the Atletico fans who so adored him and who had staged protests at his imminent sale. He then flew back to Merseyside to be unveiled at Anfield – his new home.
Torres becomes Liverpool’s most expensive ever signing (previously Â£14m paid for Djibril Cisse) and his arrival means Craig Bellamy is almost certain to leave soon. The deal is reportedly around Â£20m in cash up front, with Luis Garcia having signed for Atletico on Monday.
Manager Rafa Benitez said “He has experience, he was playing in the first division at 17 years old and I think he can manage the pressure. He knows he will be an important player and I’m sure the staff and other players will help him.
“He has power, pace, is good in the air, scores goals, can dribble and do a lot of things. The kind of striker he is different to the other strikers we have at the moment.”
Torres will now return to Spain for a short rest as the Spanish season finished later than the English campaign, and return to Melwood on July 11 and is expected to make his debut in Switzerland when the Reds face friendlies with Werder Bremen and Auxerre.