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Benitez: Torres nearing his best

By Football News



Chelsea's Spanish manager Rafael Benitez (R) shakes hands with Spanish striker Fernando Torres (L) as he leaves the pitch during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge in London, on December 23, 2012
Chelsea's Spanish manager Rafael Benitez (R) shakes hands with Spanish striker Fernando Torres (L) as he leaves the pitch during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge in London, on December 23, 2012

Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez thinks Fernando Torres is finally rediscovering his best form for the Premier League club.

The Spain international has scored six goals in his last five games for the Stamford Bridge side, and is looking confident again after a difficult period following his 50-million-pound transfer from Liverpool in 2011.

However, despite the 28-year-old's fine recent displays, Benitez believes the club need competition in forward positions and revealed that Torres may have to battle for his place in the starting 11.

"Fernando is improving physically, he has more confidence and he is scoring goals," Benitez told reporters. "He is getting closer to what he was at Liverpool, that is very clear.

"His confidence is improving every day. I speak to him after training and you can see that he has the confidence and belief that he will do well."

Benitez suggested that a tactical change is bringing out the best in the striker, as he is now staying further forward in an attempt to get into better positions to put chances away.

"We are keeping him high up the pitch, instead of coming deep to help the team. We want him around the box. We are playing to his strengths now," Benitez said.

"He was trying hard before, but now he is trying hard in the right positions and he is scoring goals."

While the 52-year-old is pleased with his compatriot's form in front of goal, Benitez thinks the club will recruit at least one more forward in January.

"Fernando knows in a top side, if you want to compete for all the trophies, you need competition in the squad," he said.

"It will be important for us to have different options and it will be better for Fernando, too. He knows we need competition.

"It is not easy, but we will be positive about the situation and Fernando is ready to fight for his position if he has to. Sometimes you want to play every game, but then you are so tired you cannot play at the level you did."