Torres deal makes sense for Milan
At 30 years of age and seemingly on the decline, a move for Fernando Torres, on the face of it, makes little sense from a Milan perspective. The general reaction has been negative, but ultimately it is time to give up on this ideology of a rebuild and vision of promoting youth, and instead accept the situation under the current administration.
In an ideal world, the Rossoneri would have seen the failure to secure European football last season as a wake-up call. Given his experience with the youth sector, the appointment of Pippo Inzaghi appeared to pave the way for a new generation of players to work through the system.
However, the majority have been sent out on loan this summer, effectively leaving Michelangelo Albertazzi, Mattia De Sciglio, Bryan Cristante and Hachim Mastour as the only recent youth products to successfully make the transition to the senior squad.
There is a clear hesitancy to place faith in youth, and ultimately that is how Milan have found themselves replacing a 24-year-old Italian international with a player many believe has had his best days.
Nevertheless, there is method to this apparent madness, and there is a personal belief that the move does make sense and will work out, hopefully.
In an era when Milan are losing their most talented players on a consistent basis, it is fundamental to the club's image to sign "big names." Torres' name still carries some weight despite his struggles at Chelsea, and while he may not affect season-ticket sales, it still has an impact around the world, and the coverage proves it.
From the Spaniard's point of view, a new environment, new league and new start in Italy is arguably exactly what he needs to reignite his career. Ultimately, he failed to live up to his sizeable price tag at Stamford Bridge, but a two-year loan deal should come with less pressure.
Although it may be a senseless hope, there is still belief that the former Liverpool striker has something left to offer, and his ability to run the channels and use his pace on and off the ball could have significantly different results in Serie A.
In addition, it is safe to say that he will offer more in terms of work rate than the individual he is effectively replacing, Mario Balotelli. With Inzaghi stressing the importance of "team spirit," Torres should know that he must make sacrifices if he is to rescue his career.
With regards to Milan, a signing was necessary in order to give Inzaghi options other than Giampaolo Pazzini as the front man. However, this will be about controlling expectations, and it is unlikely that CEO Adriano Galliani will do a great job of that, either.
Essentially, Stephan El Shaarawy is the focal point of this Milan team. If Torres is seen as the "marquee" player to rest all hope on, then that is undoubtedly setting the situation up to be a failure.
If the Spanish international can contribute a handful of goals and act as an effective foil for El Shaarawy, then this move could be successful. Further, if he is capable of finding his pre-Chelsea form, then it will be particularly enjoyable watching him silence the critics who have already written him off.
Sumeet Paul covers AC Milan for ESPN FC. Twitter: @SP_Calcio.