The rest of the Premier League may soon need to beware as Fernando Torres is progressing faster than expected in his attempts to reach peak fitness.
Torres had to undergo two knee operations last season as Liverpool failed to seal a spot in the top four of the Premier League and then suffered an abductor injury when coming on as a substitute for Spain in their World Cup final win over Holland.
Roy Hodgson has nursed Torres back into action slowly this season and he has started their last two league games, including when scoring the only goal in his most recent outing in the 1-0 win over West Brom at Anfield.
And Liverpool’s head of sports science Peter Brukner believes that Torres will be back banging in the goals on a regular basis again within the next month.
Brukner told Liverpool TV: “He’s actually slightly ahead of schedule – he played a game earlier than we thought.
“We’re now at the stage where he can play the whole game. He’s still not at his physical peak, that will take another three or four weeks, but I think you can see in every game he’s played he’s improving.”
Torres scored 24 league goals for Liverpool during the 2007/08 season and is 9/1 to end the current campaign as the Premier League top goalscorer.
Meanwhile, Liverpool are 13/8 to regain their spot in the top four this season and have made an average start with a win, draw and defeat in their opening three games.
With Torres back to his best, Liverpool may even fancy their chances of winning the Premier League for the first time and they are 18/1 to do so.
Hodgson has been busy in the transfer market this summer, bringing in the likes of Joe Cole, Christian Poulsen, Milan Jovanovic, Raul Meireles and Paul Konchesky and they will also help to ensure that the squad is strong enough to compete both domestically and in the Europa League.
Liverpool are 8/1 to win the Europa League. See the whole market.