Atkinson: Fernando Torres should have joined Man City over Chelsea
Torres has endured a tough time of it since leaving Liverpool for a Brtish transfer record £50million switch to Stamford Bridge in January 2011.
Despite winning the FA Cup and Champions League with the Blues last season, Torres started on the bench for both finals, a consequence of his struggles over the past 18 months which has seen him net just 12 goals in 67 games.
That is in stark contrast to the 81 he scored in just 142 appearances during his three years on Merseyside where he became a firm Kop favourite and established himself as the finest striker in world football.
The fastest player to reach a half century of league goals for the club, the Spaniard was being talked about in the same breath as club legends Kenny Dalglish, Iain, Rush and Robbie Fowler.
However, as the club continued to underachieve Torres opted to jump ship to Chelsea in his search for more silverware. But his big-money move hasn't gone as he had planned.
Atkinson's attributes the Spaniard's woes to Chelsea's style of play and believes he would have been better served swapping Anfield for the Etihad Stadium.
"I think he went to the wrong club after Liverpool. Chelsea’s style doesn’t suit him and if he’d gone to Manchester City and had someone like David Silva feeding him through balls, he’d have had a field day," Atkinson told Sport360.
"A couple of years ago, I’d have said he was the best centre-forward in Europe. He was hungry, he was sharp and very reminiscent of Ian Rush at his very best, playing off the shoulder of the last defender and going on to score goals for fun."
Torres will though be hoping to put the last 18 months behind him this summer as he prepares to spearhead Spain's bid to become the first country ever to win three successive major trophies.
El Nino was the hero for La Roja in 2008 as he scored the winning goal in the Euro 2008 final against Germany while he came on as a late substitute in Spain's World Cup triumph over Holland two years ago.
With David Villa, Spain's all-time record goalscorer sidelined through injury, the onus will once again be on Torres to fire Vicente Del Bosque's side to glory, something that Akinson acknowledges.
"The question mark over Spain is whether they will score enough goals and Torres has to make that difference," said Big Ron, in Dubai to cover the tournament.