Saturday, 31 December 2011

Del Bosque Has Torres Concern

Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque says Chelsea striker Fernando Torres must turn his season around if he is to ensure selection for Euro 2012.

Torres, 27, who scored the winner as Spain beat Germany in Euro 2008, has netted just five times in 23 games since joining Chelsea from Liverpool.

"It's a concern. He's not playing much," Del Bosque said. "If he plays and is on form he'll go to the Euros.

"But if the situation doesn't change it's going to be difficult for him."

Fernando deserves respect for his record and he has our confidence. He has contributed to the successes and he has room for manoeuvreVicente Del BosqueSpain coach

Speaking to Spanish sports daily AS, Del Bosque added: "There are five months until the European Championship during which everything could turn around.

"Fernando deserves respect for his record and he has our confidence.

"He has contributed to the successes and he has room for manoeuvre."

Seven of Torres' 12 Chelsea appearances this season have been as a substitute but, with fellow Chelsea striker Didier Drogba set to be on duty at the Africa Cup of Nations in January and Nicolas Anelka moving to China, the Spaniard could see his chances increased.

Torres' form has become more of a concern for Del Bosque after the country's leading scorer of all-time, David Villa, broke his leg when playing for Barcelona earlier this month.

The injury will keep the striker out of action for between four and five months, leaving the Spaniard with a race to be fit for the start of the tournament in Ukraine and Poland.

"He [Villa] is Spain's leading goalscorer and he has got us out of trouble many times," Del Bosque said.

"Villa is important but the doctors are optimistic and so is he. We'll see."

Even if Villa doesn't recover, Torres faces competition from Athletic Bilbao's Fernando Llorente, who is currently out injured, and Sevilla's Alvaro Negredo.

Valencia captain Roberto Soldado, who has scored 11 goals in La Liga and five in the Champions League this season, is also pushing hard for a recall.

"If Roberto Soldado maintains his current form we will include him in our plans," Del Bosque said.

"In the last few months Soldado has stood out, scoring goals which is the barometer of forwards, while others have been in difficult situations.

"Villa and Llorente are injured, Torres has not played much. What nobody should doubt is that I will try to be fair."