Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas would still pay �50million for Fernando Torres, despite the striker's form in front of goal since his record-breaking move from Liverpool.
Torres has scored just five times in 30 matches for his new club, a statistic that is likely to be leapt upon by his former supporters when the Reds travel to Stamford Bridge on Sunday. But Villas-Boas insisted Torres had improved since flopping on his February debut against the same opponents, and claimed his record of four goals from 12 Chelsea matches this season was perfectly adequate.
"It's not bad," Villas-Boas said, denying suggestions the 27-year-old had gone off the boil again after netting four times in four games between September and October. "It's not just a question of numbers and goalscoring. It's about how you make your team perform around you.
"He's one of the best (with) assists at the club -- four or five," he said. "He's assisting people and the team are getting wins out of it. Asked whether Torres was still a �50million player and if he would pay the same money for him today, Villas-Boas was unequivocal. "Of course," he said.