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Chelsea coach leaps to defence of Torres ahead of Manchester United visit

Roberto Di Matteo has nothing but praise for Fernando Torres.

The Spaniard became the most expensive player in British football history in January 2011, when Chelsea paid £50million to lure him from Liverpool. At his best at Anfield he was regarded as one of the best goalscorers in Europe, but he has struggled to find his best form since moving to Stamford Bridge with just 11 league goals in 54 outings.

With the departure of Didier Drogba, Torres has assumed a more central role for the Blues this term, and he has started well with four goals in eight matches as well as assisting in a further two for the Premier League leaders. Despite this, the 28-year-old still has his critics, but he can certainly count his boss Di Matteo amongst his admirers.

“I have no concerns about Fernando. He always works hard for the team and, whether he scores or not, he's always contributing,” said the Italian ahead of the visit of Manchester United.  "Sometimes, he gets more chances, sometimes less. But he's been scoring goals, he's been making goals, and we can't expect him to be scoring every game.

"He started very well, he's playing well, he's looking good, so I would rather focus the energy on now and the future. I think he's shown all the signs from this season. He's scored in the Community Shield, he's scored four in the league, he's scored one in the cup. So he's been scoring goals. But he's been making goals as well."

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