LONDON, August 24- Jose Mourinho was adamant Fernando Torres had a future at Chelsea despite the Spain striker playing no part in the Blues’ 2-0 Premier League win over Leicester City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Torres, linked with a move to AC Milan, was not even on the bench as Diego Costa confirmed he is the club’s number one forward with his second goal in two games before being replaced by Didier Drogba.
But afterwards Chelsea manager Mourinho insisted he needed three strikers at the west London club to cope with the demands of competing on several fronts and that Torres will get his chance.
“I decided to keep the same team (that beat Burnley 3-1 on the opening weekend) and I decided to have a bench with a complete balance,” Mourinho explained.
“Sometimes I can have two strikers on the bench, sometimes I can’t, and today that was my decision,” the Portuguese added.
“I want three strikers in the squad. Sometimes I will play with two and have one on the bench, sometimes one will be suspended and one injured.
“But I can’t do a season without three strikers. Our squad was made carefully over the summer. I want him (Torres) to stay.”
Mourinho added: “To be the first-choice striker he has to score more goals than the first striker.
“He will get the chance to do that. He will play soon. He is a great professional.
“After this week we have three matches a week and then it is easier because all the squad will be playing.”
Costa, signed from Atletico Madrid for £32 million ($55 million, 40 million euros) during the close season, scored on his Premier League debut at Burnley.
He followed that up with the 63rd-minute opening goal against Leicester before Eden Hazard wrapped up the win 13 minutes from time.
Mourinho said the way Costa had settled in so quickly was no surprise to him.
“I got the feeling in pre-season he will adapt easily. He is a happy guy, not speaking good English but always communicating. He integrated well and I got the feeling adaptation wouldn’t be a problem.”
– Emotional –
Mourinho revealed he had some home truths for his star-studded side during the interval, but forecast Chelsea would improve when key players shrugged off the effects of the World Cup.
“At half-time I had to be a bit emotional with them and make them realise it was not good enough,” he said.
“I wasn’t annoyed with them but I told them ‘if you have the same feeling and vision that I have, then we are not in trouble’ because we change.
“If we don’t agree and we don’t have the same vision then we are in trouble, because we don’t change the game’.”
Looking to the sterner challenges that lie ahead, Mourinho added: “I know we need to improve, especially the intensity of our game. I want it to be higher.
“Willian played for 20 minutes and was excellent but it would be different if I played him from the start.
“Some players like Branislav Ivanovic are at the top of their game, some aren’t. So it is step by step.”
Leicester manager Nigel Pearson was left frustrated his side left Stamford Bridge empty-handed, particularly as David Nugent had a clear chance to put them ahead in the 55th minute.
Pearson said he wanted to bring new players in before the end of the transfer window, but was unsure whether he would be able to strike a deal for Argentina midfielder Esteban Cambiasso.
“We have tried to bring players in, it’s been a problematical window to get deals done,” Pearson said.
“We do need one or two more players and we will endeavour to add to the squad.
“But I can’t give you an update on that (Cambiasso) deal. There are so many representatives, it’s hard to find out who is capable of doing the deal.”