Fernando Torres is simply one of the best strikers around

By Ian Rush on Feb 26, 08 06:35 PM in

FERNANDO TORRES was absolutely fantastic against Middlesbrough on Saturday and I think we can say without any shadow of a doubt that he is one of the very best strikers around.

If you look at the Premiership. The likes of Didier Drogba, Wayne Rooney, Emmanuel Adebayor and Cristiano Ronaldo are all fantastic players in their own right but in terms of being a threat in front of goal I don't think there is anyone better than Torres at the moment.

Every time he gets the ball he looks threatening and the pace he has and the work he puts in means defenders are always on the back foot when he is anywhere near the box.

Middlesbrough knew exactly what to expect because Torres scored a brilliant goal against them when the two sides met at the Riverside last month, but they were powerless to stop him.

All three goals showed his ability to put opposition players ill at ease and that's all because of his work rate.

There is nothing that defenders hate more than a centre forward who doesn't stop working and harassing them for the full 90 minutes and that's exactly what he does.

Middlesbrough's defence has done well of late but there was nothing they could do about Torres and I'm sure there will be plenty more back fours who suffer exactly the same fate at his hands.

All three of his goals illustrated what he is about but if I was asked to pick my favourite it would have to be his third.

The first one showed how alert he is when the opposition is in possession and he latched on to Julio Arca's header because he could see it coming.

The second was a wonderful strike which gave Mark Schwarzer absolutely no chance and it brought the ground to its feet.

But there was something about his third that really struck a chord with me. I think it was the way he chased a long ball down and unsettled Schwarzer and David Wheater so much that they ended up making a terrible mistake.

Even after they had messed up, Torres still had a lot to do though and he showed great awareness of his surroundings and his position on the pitch to hook the ball home.

From a striker's point of view it was a great and it gave me a lot of pleasure to see it. I don't think anyone expected Torres to have such a massive impact on the Premiership when he made the move to English football. But he is clearly revelling in it and I can only see him getting better.

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