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Mar 23, 2011

Comolli: Torres exit has lifted spirits

Liverpool director of football Damien Comolli believes Fernando Torres' £50 million departure has made the club a happier place as the striker "didn't want to be here" towards the end of his Anfield career.

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• Aquilani set for Juve stay - agent

Chelsea smashed the British transfer record to take Torres to Stamford Bridge in January, after the Spain international handed in a transfer request and publicly stated his desire to leave the Reds.

The actions in the lead up to his move and subsequent snipes at his former employers - when he claimed: "there are more personal relationships and jokes between the players than there were at Liverpool" - angered many at Anfield, but Comolli insists that Kenny Dalglish's side are better off without Torres.

And the former Tottenham director of football feels sure that Liverpool's January business - selling Torres and signing Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll for a combined £57.8 million outlay - has improved the atmosphere at the club.

"Getting two players triggered the fact that we could sell one player who didn't want to be here and get two who did want to be here,'' he said. "When you have someone who doesn't want to be here and you swap him for people who want to be here the atmosphere changes.

"It's like there is a bright new sky with no cloud over our head from the day that happened. So it's been only positive. That was really a relief for those reasons.''

Liverpool owner John W Henry also alluded to Torres' exit being beneficial for the club earlier this week, saying: "It's all very positive. Someone was saying that people weren't happy here, but I think since that person left, people are happier."

Comolli is confident that the Reds are now well-placed to move forward and believes progress can be made quickly under the new American owners Fenway Sports Group (formerly NESV).

"I know there is still a lot of work to do, we're not where we want to be yet and it'll probably take a few months to do that, but I am totally confident,'' Comolli said. "All the signs are very positive and I can see only green lights, no red lights.

"We've had some ups and downs and hopefully there will be a lot of ups in the future. With the backing of the owners and the way they are committed, I'm sure we'll have a bright future. I think we know exactly where we want to get to.

"It was a tough decision (to get rid of Hodgson) made by the club, but we have been looking forward since that and making other appointments with key individuals as we look to restructure the club. We are definitely looking forward to a bright future.''

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