Juan Mata believes under-fire striker Fernando Torres is struggling to fill the boots of Blues legend Didier Drogba.
Mata said, “Drogba’s departure was like an electric shock for us. He was a warrior. We’ve had to learn to cope without him because for many long years he was Chelsea’s lightning conductor.
“With Drogba we were conditioned to play in a certain way. You gave him the ball and you knew that he would at least force the opponent into a foul.
“In a way we had a tendency to rely on him too much but it was a natural mechanism. All the great players like getting the ball, Didier even more so.
“With Fernando it’s different. His runs aren’t the same. He’s not a funnel for our play like Drogba could be. He doesn’t like the holding-it-up role. He prefers finding space and facing the goal."
Drogba moved to China to play for Shanghai Shenhua last summer, allowing Torres to take centre stage following his highly publicised £50m move from Liverpool to Chelsea.
"When someone pays that much for you and you become the most expensive player in the Premier League, you are eager to please. Too eager, maybe,” said Mata.
“Especially Fernando, because he’s a very humble guy who knows where he comes from and understands the value of money. For me, he is still one of the best strikers in the world.”