ROME (Reuters) – Fernando Torres has already impressed AC Milan with his autograph-signing abilities and will attempt to show that he is just as prolific when it comes to scoring goals when he makes his Serie A debut on Sunday.
The Spaniard was signed just before the end of the transfer window after an unhappy spell at Chelsea and, although the idea of a misfiring striker joining a struggling team may seem like a recipe for disaster, Milan are confident it will all work out.
“Torres had a difficult year, but he has great desire to do well,” coach Filippo Inzaghi said during a recent coaching forum at UEFA headquarters.
“I like to see a player who stops to sign autographs for two-and-a-half hours, it’s a sign of respect towards the fans.
“His physical tests were good and I hope that with him Milan will change greatly.”
“I have seven strikers and I’m spoiled for choices, my task is to get the most out of them and to understand how to inter-change between them,” he added.
Torres’ signing was completed too late for him to make his debut in Milan’s 3-1 win over Lazio in their opening game but, following the international break, he is all set to face Parma on Sunday (1845GMT).
Goalkeeper Diego Lopez, signed from Real Madrid, is confident his compatriot will rediscover his old form.
“Torres is a very important acquisition,” he said. “Fernando has always done incredible things, he has experience and there is nobody else in the team with his profile.
“He will bring goals, speed, hard work and I think he can be very important for everyone.
“He has all the characteristics he needs to win in this team, which he has already done with others. I don’t see why he can’t revive his career here.”
Milan finished a dismal eighth last season, a performance which cost both Massimiliano Allegri and Clarence Seedorf their jobs, but, despite another unimpressive performance in the summer transfer window, chief executive Adriano Galliani believes the seven-times European champions can stage a revival.
“There’s a positive aura,” he told reporters. “I can say that I feel electricity in the air around this new Milan.
“Inzaghi’s new Milan is bringing back the enthusiasm among our supporters and I remain optimistic. You will see that the work I am doing with Pippo (Inzaghi) will bring great satisfaction.
“If it goes well against Parma this weekend, then we could reach the game with Juventus (Sept 21) and have 80,000 in the crowd. It would be a wonderful spectacle.”