Fernando Torres, welcome to Anfield.
Trust me when I say we, the Liverpool faithful, are beyond estatic to have ‘El Nino’ here. After weeks of sorting through rumor, speculation and conjecture, it’s almost unreal to actually have you at the club. To say we’ve been craving a high-profile striker with enough talent to help fire the club to the Premier League crown would be an understatement.
To have signed a striker who has scored 82 goals in 214 league appearances, garnered 40-some caps for the Spanish national team while scoring 14 international goals and also is captain of his club side; well, this would be a coup for most clubs. But, such a signing becomes even more significant when that player is only 23 years of age, with the bulk of his career ahead of him and bags of talent yet to be realized.
But you don’t need me to tell you how good you are or the greatness you could possibly acheive, do you? Instead, allow me to speak about your future in different terms.
Coming to a European giant like Liverpool with such a substantial price-tag, there are bound to be built-in expectations. One of the most popular burdens you’ll assume is how some fans will expect you to become the striker that delivers “20 to 25 goals” to lead LFC to the league championship and back to the top of English football. A ‘return on investment’ if you will.
Don’t sweat this number. The top goalscorer (Drogba) in the last season’s Premiership had 20, but the champion’s lead league scorer (C. Ronaldo) finished third in with 17. You can’t be worried about carrying the team’s whole scoring load on your back just yet. Just concentrate on working hard for the squad and doing what you do best. You won’t be alone; Kuyt (the one with the blond mullet) scored 12 in the league and Crouchie (the gangly fellow there towering above everyone else) recorded nine. Understand, though, that you will have to score goals. At the end of the day, if Rafa felt our strikers were finding the back of the net as much as needed, it’s unlikely he’d have laid out upwards of (a reported) £25 million for your services.
As you’re well aware, Liverpool have gone 17 long years without a league championship. In recent seasons, hopes of securing the title have been quickly hampered by a slow start at the season’s start. Should you hit the ground running and find the net in the first games, your reputation will only be enhanced. Scoring goals will be the quickest way to win over the fans. Once you’re banging them in on a regular basis, the Kop will be serenading you with your own song in no time.
Although scoring is paramount, there are other ways in which you can win over the fans. The Liverpool faithful appreciate and recognize those who play every game with passion, giving it their all and leaving all that they have to offer out on the pitch. A high workrate and good attitude are meaningful attributes at Anfield and are often rewarded in song. Even if you’re suffering through a bad stretch of matches, if you’re still honestly putting the effort forth, the Kopites will have your back.
Signing a six-year contract obviously demonstrates your intention to be at Anfield for some time to come. I have no doubt you will take the time to learn about the club’s storied history and rich traditions. Immersing yourself in it will only further serve to intergrate you into the club, and it’s something Liverpool fans will appreciate.
Take for instance, your number 9 shirt. There would be those who might be impressed if you elaborated on what an honor it is to wear the shirt, after goal-scoring greats like Robbie Fowler and Ian Rush. (It’s probably best not to mention Djibril Cisse’s name) Mentioning former legeneds by name would be a shrewd move.
Also, Is there any chance you might consider developing a Scouse accent? How about your daughter?
Now, I understand you’re only 23 and despite your incredible pedigree, still have a lot to learn. On top of your young age, you’re moving to a different county and different league. It is expected that there willl be a learning curve. Most of the fans understand this. Some of them won’t. The press, more than likely, will not be cutting you any slack in this department. Do not listen to the critics. Keep your head down and rely on the manager, the Liverpool staff and your teammates. The true fans have your back.
That said, the sooner you get up to speed, the better.
Now, the Premiership is obviously a much different environment than La Liga. You won’t be afforded the same time & space you may have enjoyed on the Continent. In England, the game is much more physical and some of the tic-tac things that may have been a foul in Spain will not be here. The defenders are not going to respect you. Be prepared to go to battle. No doubt, you have the skills with which to prevail.
This is an exciting time for all of us; you, the club and we, the fans. As we approach another fresh season, it’s now that anything is truly possible. You hold the key to your own success, Fernando. There’s no limit to the greatness you can achieve with Liverpool.
We believe in you.
Now, go get us some goals.