Torres still one of the best - Benayoun
Yossi Benayoun believes "the real Fernando Torres" will emerge once the misfiring Chelsea striker puts his recent dry run in front of goal behind him.
Torres has one goal in 13 matches after Thursday night's Europa League last-32 first-leg 1-0 win at Sparta Prague. While many Chelsea supporters have lost faith in Torres, Benayoun, like interim manager Rafael Benitez, has backed his former Liverpool colleague.
He said: "For me, he is still one of the best strikers in the world. He just needs to believe in himself. It would be good to get his confidence back and be his old self. Hopefully he will get a few more soon and you will see the real Fernando Torres."
He added: "You can understand it is not easy, from being the top striker at Liverpool - he was unbelievable, you gave him the ball and you knew he would score.
"But he had a bad time in the beginning at Chelsea. When he came in, he was on the bench, then on the pitch. He did not get the confidence when he came in. And with the £50million above his head, it is not easy for any player."
Like Torres, Benayoun has struggled to reach the same heights since moving from Anfield to west London, and he added: "You do not change so quick from being the best player, one of the best in the world, to a player that some people say is not good enough for Chelsea.
"He has had good spells, bad spells, and has 15 or 16 goals already. That is not bad, but hopefully he will finish with 25."
In three and a half years at Liverpool, after being signed from Atletico Madrid by Benitez for a fee of £20m, Torres scored 81 goals in 142 matches before moving to Stamford Bridge on the final day of the 2011 winter transfer window for £50m on a five-and-a-half-year deal.
He has scored 25 goals in 134 appearances for Chelsea - 15 of them this term. Torres netted seven times in six games in December, but his only goal since was the equaliser which forced Sunday's FA Cup fourth-round replay with Brentford.
Benitez has praised Torres' work-rate and attributed his barren streak to the role he has to perform as a lone striker, but the Spain international could be removed from the firing line for the Brentford encounter, with Demba Ba and Victor Moses available.
Oktoberfest in Belfast [Photos]
Nightlife: Filthy McNasty's [Photos]
Nightlife: Oktoberfest in Belfast King's Hall, 2016
Northern Ireland nightlife: Bot Wednesdays, Sept 28 2016
Northern Ireland nightlife: Limelight for Sketchy, September 2016
Northern Ireland nightlife: Bot Wednesdays, Sept 21 2016
Nightlife: The Perch and Chinawhite Sept 17
Nightlife: The Fly for Fly Mondays, Sept 19 [Photos]
Northern Ireland nightlife: Villa for Fat Freshers Warmup Sept 14, 2016 [Photos]
Nightlife: Filthy McNasty's Sept 11 [Photos]
Nightlife: Radio Ulster Across The Line bash
Nightlife: Circus at Limelight, September 1, 2016
Nightlife: Villa for Fat Summer, August 3 [Photos]
Latest Sport News
Sunderland boss David Moyes targets EFL Cup boost new
David Moyes is hoping an extended EFL Cup run can... Premier League
Southampton boss Claude Puel will bide his time with Sofiane Boufal new
Southampton boss Claude... Premier League
Breaking Betting suspended in match between police in Northern Ireland and Albert...
Betting was this morning... Northern Ireland
Antonio Conte's aggression is good - West Ham boss Slaven Bilic new
West Ham boss Slaven Bilic... Premier League