Why Fernando Torres’ return to Atlético Madrid can revitalise the Kid

Spanish striker hopes his move back to Atlético Madrid, the club where it all started, will rekindle his flagging career
• Fernando Torres to join Atlético Madrid on loan

The Kid returns to the Calderón a man. Fernando Torres has rejoined Atlético Madrid more than 17 years after he played his first game for them, a tall, skinny 13-year-old with freckles who had recently joined the club’s youth system. After Chelsea formalised his switch to Milan, the Serie A side confirmed he will join Atlético on loan until 2016, when his contract at Stamford Bridge was due to expire. Alessio Cerci heads in the other direction, from Madrid to Milan. This is that rare deal when everyone is happy.

It is seven and a half years since Torres left for Liverpool. His mind was made up after a soulless 6-0 defeat that confirmed a trend in which Atlético headed from crisis to crisis, never winning anything and never looking like winning anything either. The surprise, the club’s sporting director admitted, was not Torres had departed but that he had stayed so long. He was still young but he had completed his seventh season in the first team. He had scored 91 goals but also outgrown them. “I had to leave because my development was going in one direction and the club was going in another,” Torres said.

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