Torres can again become the player who persuaded Chelsea to part with £50m, but the striker’s effectiveness is dependent on the opposition’s approach.
Chelsea’s pursuit of Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has led to question marks over the future of Torres, who has struggled at times since his January 2011 arrival at Stamford Bridge from Liverpool, but Mourinho is confident of rejuvenating the FIFA World Cup™-winning Spaniard.
Mourinho considers that Torres is more adept and prolific when there is space to run behind defenders.
“I think I know Fernando quite well in terms of a player,” Mourinho said. “I think I know the best way for a team to play to try to get the best out of him, so I will try to help him, the same way I try to help other people.
“Sometimes it’s easy to say a player is not performing but that might not be fair because sometimes the way you play decides if someone is more comfortable or less comfortable on the pitch. He’s a striker more comfortable when he has space behind, when he has space for those runs, when he has space to get behind defenders.
“And he has it more difficult when opponents are very close, when opponents are compact and when he has to play in small spaces. He’s more a player to go into a space than to play with the ball on his feet.”
The tactical challenge dictates selection not just for Torres, but throughout the team, Mourinho says.
“For everybody in the team I will try to take the best choice in relation to the game planning and what we see the opponent can do,” he added.
Torres is absent from the tour of Asia following the FIFA Confederations Cup. Despite making a bid for Rooney, Mourinho has felt no need to contact Torres to reassure him of his place ahead of the Confederations Cup players resuming training on 28 July.
Demba Ba and Romelu Lukaku are the other strike options in the squad at present and the dynamic Rooney offers an alternative. The subject of Chelsea’s bid for Rooney was again off the table and, for now, Mourinho will continue to try to improve the forwards at his disposal.
“I would want to improve them but that quality (to operate in close quarters) they don’t have. I will work on it with them.”