By Nik Brumsack
Mikel Arteta says Chelsea striker Fernando Torres has been treated unfairly by some critics.
Torres has scored nine Premier League goals in 51 games since joining Chelsea from Liverpool for £50million in January 2011 - and came under fire from the media last season.
“I don’t like the way he has been treated because I have known him since we were 16, 17 and I really appreciate him,” Arteta said.
“He is a friend of mine. Obviously, football is like that - it doesn’t matter what you have done in the past, it is only what you have done in the last few weeks.
“He has been criticised. Mentally he is a really strong guy even if someone doubts him.”
Arteta also believes Torres has come under increased scrutiny because he is a forward.
“When you play as a striker and they pay £50million for you, you are under huge pressure,” he said.
“And obviously when the ball isn’t going in the net, it is even more difficult because people always look at that.
“For a striker, sometimes it is not fair. For a midfielder or a defender it is a bit easier to adapt. For a striker it is tough.”
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