Brentford centre-back Harlee Dean is relishing the prospect of facing Fernando Torres this weekend.
Torres, who could feature in Sunday’s FA Cup clash at Griffin Park, has struggled for much of the season.
But Dean believes the much maligned Chelsea striker is still a top player.
“I think the way Chelsea fans have treated Torres is harsh. I’ve watched him a lot this season and he is still a world-class player,” Dean told West London Sport.
“He has scored more goals this season than in any other for Chelsea and if he plays against us on Sunday it is still going to be incredibly difficult.
“Torres is under pressure – £50m is a big price tag and a lot to live up to and that may be another reason he has struggled.”
Having been allowed to leave Southampton, where he started his career, the game is also an opportunity for Dean to show what he can do against top opposition.
“It is definitely in the back of my mind to prove some of my doubters wrong in this game,” he explained.
“It’s a chance for all our great young players to test ourselves against the best and see how we match up to them and we are just going to relish the day and enjoy ourselves.”