All-Star: Torres joins Chelsea camp, but will he play?
NEW YORK — Spain international forward Fernando Torres is back with Chelsea.
"El Niño" beat the Blues to Philadelphia and joined them for evening practice on Monday, his first work with Chelsea following his post-Euros vacation.
But don't expect him to feature for Chelsea against the MLS All-Stars on Wednesday night in the AT&T MLS All-Star Game (8:30 pm ET; ESPN2). Blues manager Roberto Di Matteo indicated as much during his PSG postgame press conference.
"We’re looking forward to having him back in the squad and we’ll have to see if he might be involved in the Miami game maybe on the weekend," Di Matteo said. "He’s full of confidence. He had a great season last season and just won a lot of achievements and trophies and he should be back with a lot of confidence.
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"I was very happy at the end of last season with him," continued Di Matteo. "He did very well for us."
The Chelsea forward corps is undoubtedly thin. With Torres still working his way to fitness and Daniel Sturridge with Team GB at the Olympics, it leaves the big, 6-foot-3 Romelu Lukaku to shoulder the burden of the two-man front line.
Lukaku, who had a nondescript performance against PSG after shining against the Seattle Sounders in the 2012 Herbalife World Football Challenge, will likely have Eden Hazard once again playing behind him, although Marko Marin is also an option for the withdrawn forward spot.
Of course, Di Matteo could surprise everyone and start attacking midfielder Lucas Piazon at forward. The Brazilian scored the equalizer against PSG despite playing out of position.
"It’s not his natural position where we’re playing him at the moment because we’re a little bit short up front at striker," Di Matteo said. "But in the few games he’s been involved, he’s been impressive. … He's certainly one to watch for the future."
When it comes to shopping for additional strikers ahead of the upcoming Premier League season, it doesn't sound like Di Matteo is on the market, unless he's bluffing. Their latest rumored move is for Brazilian midfielder Oscar.
"I think we’re happy with the squad," he said.