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Villas-Boas: Torres is worth £50m

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has insisted he would not hesitate to shell out £50 million on striker Fernando Torres.

• Preview: Chelsea v Liverpool
• Torres justifies Liverpool exit
• Sturridge fires warning to strikers
• Torres thanks Blues fans

Torres, 27, arrived at Stamford Bridge from Liverpool in January for a British record transfer fee, though his form has been patchy since then as he has struggled to replicate the form that made him a fan favourite during three-and-a-half years on Merseyside.

The Spain forward has scored just three Premier League goals for the Blues this year and some feel Chelsea paid well over the odds, but Villas-Boas does not believe that to be the case.

"Of course he is worth the money," Villas-Boas said. "Of course I would pay that now. You talk about his record but when you do that you are isolating two years to vent your opinion-making. Instead, isolate the last four months with the goals he's scored.

"It's not bad. A striker is not just there to put the ball in the net. He's there to perform and create - creating opportunities is important, whether you win or lose games. At the moment, our best scorers are our two midfielders [Frank Lampard and Ramires]. For them to finish, someone is creating. The team is, so I'm happy at the moment.

"I think Fernando has picked up from last season, not only with his form, but also his availability and movement for the team. He is back to his old sharpness and also in goalscoring terms. We're pretty happy with the way he's performed.

Meanwhile, Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina has defender Torres' decision to join Chelsea, claiming the striker felt betrayed by the Reds.

Reina was Torres' closest friend at Anfield and the Spain shot-stopper can understand why his international team-mate left, suggesting promises had been broken.

"As much as it hurt the supporters to see him [Torres] go, I can understand his reasons for leaving," Reina wrote in his autobiography. "When Fernando started to feel that Liverpool were never going to be competitive again, it quickly became inevitable that he would accept the offer from Chelsea.

"I did know he was really angry because he felt he had been betrayed by Liverpool before he left. There had been plenty of lies, plenty of promises which had not been kept. It became clear the Liverpool we were at was not the Liverpool either of us had joined."

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