Benitez backs Torres to fire

Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini has hinted that he would

like to follow David Moyes to Manchester United.

The Belgian international has long been linked with a move away

from Goodison Park, and after a deal in January failed to

materialise, he again looks set for a summer of speculation about

his future.

Chelsea and Arsenal had been linked, but now he has one eye on

Old Trafford due to the fact Moyes is taking charge.

“If I’m leaving Everton, I say if, it will depend on lots of

factors,” Fellaini told the Sunday Mirror.

“I only want to go to a club where the manager really wants


“In 2008, Everton did everything to convince me, especially

David Moyes. He made me the player I am now.”

Fellaini also revealed that Moyes had told him that he wanted

him to become a deep-lying midfielder – rather than the forward he

has emerged as in recent years.

“I’m happy with my season, although I didn’t play in my best

position,” said Fellaini.

“I’m not a number 10. David Moyes predicts my future as a

defensive midfielder, but due to a lack of offensive power, he

plays me up front.

“In the future I want to play as a six or an eight. From there,

I can create danger and score goals.”

Torres has endured a challenging two-and-a-half year spell at

Stamford Bridge since his ?50million move from Liverpool in January


It was his performances at Liverpool, under Benitez, which

persuaded Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to part with the sum which

has at times appeared to be a burden for the World Cup-winning


Torres is still to score a Barclays Premier League goal in 2013

ahead of Sunday’s match with Everton – a game which will determine

whether Chelsea finish third or fourth – but netted six goals in

six Europa League appearances, including in the final as the Blues

beat Benfica in the Amsterdam final on Wednesday.

“It’s more than just me,” said Benitez, when asked about Torres’

improvement, before he cited assistant coaches Steve Holland,

Boudewijn Zenden and fitness coaches Paco de Miguel and Chris Jones

for their efforts.

“They have improved him. He has more pace, more confidence and

he can score important goals for us. He has to keep working in the

same way and I think that with a pre-season he will have plenty of

team to improve himself physically.

“It’s a question of keeping training the same way that he’s

training now and with confidence, he has the potential.”

Torres, who last found the net in the Premier League against

Aston Villa in December, has cut a forlorn figure at times,

ploughing a lone furrow up front.

Benitez added: “When you see a striker that is not scoring as

many goals as he wants to score, this can happen. Now he’s enjoying


On his arrival, Benitez felt Chelsea could mount a Premier

League title challenge, but a congested season – Sunday’s match

will be the Blues’ 69th of the campaign – has played its part in

ensuring that ambition was never close to being fulfilled.

To take on Manchester United, Benitez felt Chelsea needed to

sign players in January and augment a squad which is packed with

quality, but short of numbers in a transitional period, following

the departures of the likes of Didier Drogba.

Benitez refused to criticise the board for not weighing into the

transfer market, with striker Demba Ba the one major January

addition, but he has fulfilled his brief by delivering a Champions

League return.

“Always [it] can be better,” Benitez said.

“We cannot change what happened and we have to think of the

future as a positive. The club had an idea. We have been successful

in one of the big competitions and we are virtually qualified for

the Champions League. So in the end it was fine.”

With champions Manchester United and Manchester City under new

management next season, as well as Chelsea, Benitez will be

intrigued by what happens.

“It will be interesting to see what happens next year with the

top three,” he said.

“[Chelsea are] a team with quality and more experience now. I

think it will be better next year.”

With David Moyes joining Manchester United as successor to Sir

Alex Ferguson, Everton are seeking a new boss, but Benitez cannot

envisage a future at Goodison Park, even though his family home

remains on The Wirral.

Asked specifically about Everton, Benitez, whose preference is

to stay in England, said: “I don’t think it would be easy for them

to approach me and it would not be easy for me to go there.

“I have to be consistent with my ideas. I have a lot of respect

for Everton, but it would be very difficult.”

Benitez is leaving his future in his agent’s hands and is

awaiting an official approach.

But he expects to be in a management role come the start of next


He said: “I don’t see too many top sides in England available at

the moment. Still there are opportunities around the world.

“I think it’s important to find the right club. You have to

wait, not be impatient and see what happens.

“I have an agent who has to do his job. I cannot be too worried

about that, because we’re involved in massive competitions and we

have to do concentrate on our job and he [his agent] has to do his