zaterdag 19 november 2011

Reina: We don't miss Torres now we've got Suarez

Pepe Reina

pepe-reina-liverpool-cropped


Goalkeeper Jose Reina believes Liverpool have not missed striker Fernando Torres since his £50million move to Chelsea as replacement Luis Suarez is even better.
Reina and Torres sat on the same bench together at Wembley a week ago for Spain's 1-0 defeat to England but on Sunday they face each other for only the second time since the forward's transfer to Stamford Bridge.
Back in February Torres made his Chelsea debut against his former club but drew a blank and was replaced after 66 minutes as Raul Meireles - now also at Stamford Bridge - scored the only goal for the Reds.
Since then the paths of the 27-year-old Spaniard and that of new Anfield hero Suarez have taken different directions.
Suarez has assumed his predecessor's role as primary goalscorer and quickly won over fans with some determined, high-energy performances and he is the club's leading scorer this season with seven goals in all competitions.
Reina expects the £22.8million January arrival from Ajax to match and then surpass Torres' record of 81 goals in 141 appearances in three and a half years.
"Fernando is top class; Luis is as good or even better than Fernando," said the Reds goalkeeper, speaking at the launch of his book Pepe: My Autobiography.
"Those players are really special. You don't find those kind of players very often.
"The club did a good job in signing Luis and hopefully he will be many years with us and hopefully he will score as many goals as Fernando."
Torres has admitted he has found it more difficult to settle in London than he did in Liverpool and that has been reflected in his form.
In the first half of last season he scored nine Barclays Premier League goals in a red shirt but since moving to Chelsea he has just three league goals and two Champions League goals (both in the same match against minnows Genk) to his name.
Reina counts Torres as one of his best friends in football and they lived in the same street in Woolton in Liverpool before his compatriot left and Suarez moved into the same house.
And despite the striker's struggles at Stamford Bridge he expects him to rediscover the form which made him one of the most deadly strikers in the world at his peak.
"He is the same player but it is a different team so it is difficult to judge (how he compares to his best form for Liverpool)," added Reina.
"I think there are a lot of periods when goalscorers' lives are like that.
"Sometimes you do it, sometimes you go through bad spells but Fernando does know how to score and is a very good player.
"With Juan Mata (another international team-mate) behind him he will deliver more goals and will be better.
"He (Torres) is such a good player and he will be a real threat for us - not just him because they have a lot of good players that can create us problems.
"It is going to be a tough game. We have to do things right and hopefully we will take three massive points."
While the former Atletico Madrid's forward departure from Anfield almost a year ago still rankles with many fans Reina was not surprised.
Torres handed in a transfer request just days before the end of the January window and his deal went through just minutes before it closed.
But Reina admitted in his book he had expected him to leave in the summer after he returned to Merseyside as a World Cup winner.
"It was his decision. We have to respect that," he said.
"It (the transfer fee) was such a large amount of money but it was still a difficult thing for the club.
"Nothing was clear but Fernando, for me, thought he had to leave the team to continue growing as a player."
Reina himself has been close to leaving on a couple of occasions during the troubled reign of former owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett.
However, under the ownership of Fenway Sports Group, who celebrated their first anniversary in charge last month, he views the situation much more positively.
"I am glad to be here and still be a part of this club," he said.


Source: Mirror Football

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