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Fernando Torres is not good again but he still deserves a new contract

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Torres is a symptom and not cause of Atletico's excellent development of late

Denis Doyle/Getty Images

It's ironic that Fernando Torres' resurrection coincided with Easter. That is not to suggest that he is God but to many an Atletico Madrid fan, he might as well be. His four goals in five games and the away goal that gave his side a sense of hope in the second leg against Barcelona in the Champions League led many to believe - including yours truly - to suggest that the swash-buckling Torres that left Madrid as a kid had returned.

He certainly has a spring in his step, as many of you cynically pointed out at a convenient time as his contract renewal discussions heat up. The point is, however, that it is not Torres who has improved, he is simply a symptom of a more developed team that now understand how to defend without stifling creativity and how to attack without compromising on their hard-nosed defensive attributes.

There are few who would begrudge Torres' a revival of sorts save for a few Liverpool fans with good memories and embittered Chelsea fans who believe he owes them something. Torres, as we once knew him is not back, but Simeone's side are playing with confidence at the back and enjoying a break-out season from Saul Niguez. The 21-year-old's energy allows Koke to operate higher up the field, making things happen with his passing and spending less time concerned with defensive duties.

In Atletico's last seven games, they have failed to score three just once, during a 2-1 loss to Sporting Gijon and that spark in front of goal that they lacked in the earlier parts of the season has returned, leading to a fine run of form and a chance at two titles before the season ends.

Simeone's flutters during the January transfer market brought in replacements for Tiago in the shape of Augusto Fernandez and Matias Kranevitter. The two Argentines give Simeone options and a tactical versatility that we have not seen and means Atletico's engine room remain fresh and adaptable to altering game situations.

The bottom line is that this iteration of Atletico Madrid might well be the best we have ever seen under Simeone and Fernando Torres is a beneficiary of the team's evolution.

Atletico's evolution

The club's summer business was attack-orientated with Jackson Martinez, Yannick Carrasco and Luciano Vietto all arriving at the club. Talk was circulating that Diego Simeone's side would evolve into a more attacking one. Simeone said at the time, however, the most important thing is that "the club reinvent themselves but what counts most is that the structure doesn't change. That's never changed and it's what sustains everything."

That was always going to be the case and Atletico have finally found a proper structure to allow them to be competitive defensively while also attacking with a verve we have not seen in the last three years. They have reinvented themselves into one of the most balanced side's in Europe.

What was holding them back has become one of their greatest strength and they just might be unstoppable if they continue in this vein of form.