20th March – Fernando Torres

Fernando Torres has had one of the most up and down careers ever because he was one of the most feared strikers in Europe and then suddenly went through long goalscoring droughts.

Torres is only 31 and should be in the prime of his career, however he has gone through one of the toughest periods in his career. It could be argued that he played too much and was too heavily relied on when he was younger and he is burnt out. It is a shame that his career didn’t keep progressing because on form he was one of the best players to watch and could score goals from all angles.

The striker started his career at Atletico Madrid and made his debut on the 27th May 2001 against Leganes and a week later scored his first professional goal against Albacete. In the following season Atletico gained promotion to La Liga with Torres managing to contribute six goals and in his first season in the top flight he would go on to score 13. His career would continue to grow and a further 19 goals in the 2003-04 season meant he was one of the highest rated youngsters at the time.

Torres AM

Surprisingly at the age of 19 he was given the captain’s armband and would remain a consistent goalscorer over the next three seasons and ended his time at the club with 91 goals. In 2007 he joined Liverpool and some were unsure whether he would adapt to the Premier League but he wouldn’t have any problems as he became the first Liverpool player since Robbie Fowler in the 1995-96 season to score 20 league goals and would end with 33 in 46 games in all competitions.

Torres Liverpool

It was a fantastic start for Torres and despite a few injuries in his second season he was named as number 50 in Liverpool’s all time greatest players showing how much of an impact he had made already. On the final day of the season he would score his 50th goal for the club in just his 84th game. Later on he would become the fastest player to reach 50 league goals for Liverpool after scoring a last minute winner against Aston Villa on the 29th December 2009. Injuries meant he couldn’t feature in the last few months of the season but still 22 goals in 32 games was very impressive. This would be his final full season at the club and on the 31st January 2011 he would set a new British transfer record by joining Chelsea for £50 million.

Torres would then go through a terrible spell and would have to wait 903 minutes for his next goal, which would come in a 3-0 win over West Ham but would be his only goal in 18 appearances for his new club. During the 2011-12 season he would also go through a goal drought but did manage to score a last minute goal against Barcelona to help Chelsea qualify for the Champions League final which they would win. He ended his first season with 11 goals but towards the end of the season he had looked a lot sharper. But it still didn’t look like it was going to happen at Chelsea, however 22 goals in the 2012-13 season wasn’t a bad return and many of these were important goals in their run to picking up the Europa League, including the opening goal in the final against Benfica.

Torres Chelsea

One more disappointing season followed and on the 31st August 2014 he joined AC Milan and would score on his second game in a 2-2 draw with Empoli, however this would be his only goal for the club as he has been loaned out to Atletico Madrid for the rest of the campaign. He has scored three times since returning, all in the Copa Del Rey, two against Real Madrid and another against Barcelona.

The final word can go to AC Milan coach Stefano Eranio. “Torres is a very humble player, he has great technical and human qualities. He is like a car, he needs to play to find his form. He needs the confidence of the coach. As a coach, I say that I would always want someone like Torres in the team.”

2nd June – Sergio Aguero

Sergio Aguero is one of the best strikers in the world and will be hoping that he can prove it at the World Cup.

The striker has achieved so much in the game and is only just turning 26 today but it is not surprising that he has became one of the best in the world. He made his professional debut for Independiente at the age of just 15 years and 35 days becoming the youngest player to play in the division. He did not play again for seven months but when he did he became the youngest player to play in the Copa Libertadoras. On the 26th November he scored his first goal in a 2-2 against Estudiantes. During the 2005-06 season he became a first team regular and scored 18 times in 36 league games and was being linked with moves the Europe.
Aguero Independiente
On the 30th May he joined Atletico Madrid and Argentina legend Diego Maradona had a lot of praise for the striker. “The fact that people haven’t seen much of him in Europe means he hasn’t got the exposure Messi has had. But Aguero is just as good.”

He didn’t settle straightaway in Spain and only scored six times in his first season but after Fernando Torres left for Liverpool, Aguero became the star man. Still only 19 he finished the season as the third highest goalscorer in La Liga at the end of the year with 19 goals. He scored important goals against Barcelona, Real Madrid, Valencia, Sevilla and Villarreal that helped the club finish fourth and qualify for the Champions League for the first time in over 10 years.

In the next season he continued to get better as his partnership with Diego Forlan was improving and he scored his first Champions League goal in a 3-0 win over PSV. The 2009-10 season was a bit slower for everyone at the club but he managed to score twice against Chelsea in the Champions League. They were knocked out of the competition but won the Europa League with Aguero providing the assists for both goals in the final.
Aguero Atletico
His most successful season was the year after though as he scored 20 league goals and scored in seven consecutive games towards the end of the season. In his final game for the club he scored a hatrick against Mallorca with the second being his 100th for the club in all competitions.

On the 28th July 2011 he joined Manchester City for £38 million and made his debut on the opening day of the season against Swansea City. He came on as a substitute on the 59th minute and scored twice as well as providing a goal for David Silva. On his third start he scored his first hatrick in a 5-1 win over Wigan Athletic. He scored 23 times in his first season but the most important was with the last kick of the season that won the Premier League title for the club.
Aguero MC
The 2012-13 season was more difficult as he suffered an injury early on and it took him till the 29th September to score his first of the season. He went on to score another 11 Premier League goals as the club failed to defend their title but after missing the whole of the next preseason he started the season brilliantly by scoring against Newcastle United and then twice against Manchester United in a 4-1 win. On the 24th November he scored his 9th and 10th goals of the season against Tottenham Hotspur which meant that he now had the best minutes to goal ratio ever in the Premier League. He also scored five times in six league Champions League group games. He missed a lot of the season through injury but ended it with 28 goals in 34 games as well as winning back the Premier League title.

The final word can go to Ossie Ardiles. “He’s very, very quick and clever. He’s very intelligent and can score goals very, very easily. He lives to score goals, he’s a proper centre forward, he always wants to be close to the box.”

25th May – Demba Ba

Demba Ba became an unlikely hero for Chelsea towards the end of last season scoring important goals against PSG, Liverpool and Swansea.

His form towards the end of the season just made a lot of people wonder why Jose Mourinho hadn’t put him in the starting eleven a lot sooner. He has proven himself as a great goalscorer his whole career so it was strange to see him left out so often when Fernando Torres and Samuel Eto’o were not on form. But Ba is a player that bounces back after being left out and deemed not good enough as he proved early in his career when he first tried to join an English club. He was turned down by Watford, Barnsley, Swansea City and Gillingham before signing a one year deal with French club Rouen.

Ba was very successful at the club and in his one season he scored 22 goals in just 26 games before moving onto Belgian club Mouscron where he continued his good form and scored in his first three games. However Ba fractured his tibia and fibula and was ruled out for a long time but after eight months he eventually recovered and carried on where he left off by scoring another seven times in the next nine games.
Ba Hoff
In 2007 he moved onto Germany and signed for Hoffenheim, who were playing in the second tier at the time but his 12 league goals secured promotion to the Bundesliga in his first year. Both Ba and his club had a successful year after promotion the striker scored 14 times. Injuries once again began to catch up with him and he played fewer games over the next two seasons. But in his last half a season he scored 9 times in just 20 games before a dispute with the club meant he was wanting to leave.

They agreed a fee with Stoke City but unfortunately Ba failed a medical and Stoke pulled out of the deal. West Ham quickly signed him up and he did everything he could to keep them in the Premier League. He scored seven times in 12 games but a clause in his contract meant that when West Ham were relegated he could leave on a free transfer.

He signed for Newcastle United and proved once again that he was a great goalscorer and scored two hatricks in the first 11 games of the season with one of those coming against Stoke. Before leaving for the Africa Cup of Nations he was second top scorer in the Premier League with 15 goals and on his return from international duty he scored against Aston Villa. However, this proved to be his last goal of the season as he was moved out to the left wing to accommodate Papiss Cisse who ended up with 12 goals in just half a season.
Ba Newcastle
Ba was back on goalscoring form at the start of the new season by scoring a stunning volley against Tottenham Hotspur to win the game. By the time January came he around he was on 13 goals in 20 games but it was revealed he had a clause in his contract that allowed him to leave for just £7 million. Chelsea took advantage and on his debut for the club he scored twice in the FA Cup against Southampton and then scored on his home league debut against the same opposition. Ba only scored one more Premier League goal but did score a great goal against Manchester United in the FA Cup.
Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Chelsea v Blackburn Rovers - Stamford Bridge
In the season just finished he didn’t get enough of a chance to make an impact but still managed eight goals in all competitions. He definitely did pop up with some important goals though and the Chelsea fans have not seen the best of him.

The final word can go to Alan Pardew. “Demba Ba has done very well since he came to England, and he’s a good player. He has pace, excellent technical ability, is good in the air and, it goes without saying, has the ability to consistently find the back of the net.”