Jamie Carragher says Fernando Torres' Chelsea career is effectively over after he was left on the bench for the trip to Manchester United.
Blues boss Jose Mourinho, who has made two bids for England striker Wayne Rooney this summer, opted to leave all three of his recognised strikers out of the starting line-up for the Premier League clash at Old Trafford.
Romelu Lukaku and Demba Ba were both snubbed along with Spain striker Torres, who signed for Chelsea for around £50million from Liverpool in 2011 and was only introduced after an hour of the 0-0 draw.
Sky Sports pundit Carragher played alongside Torres at Anfield for three-and-a-half years and says he is unlikely to figure in Mourinho's plans much this season because he's lost the form that saw him score 65 goals in 91 Premier League appearances for Liverpool.
"I'm wondering if Mourinho was sending a message to the owner in the stands," he said on Monday Night Football.
"We all know he wants Rooney, that's obvious. He's basically saying that his strikers aren't good enough; that's what he's telling the world out there.
"You could say it's probably the end at Chelsea [for Torres]. I didn't think he was going to have too great a time under Mourinho.
"As soon as Jose came in his quotes were quite negative about Torres. He started him in the first game against Hull and he was poor. I don't think he got stripped for the second game against Villa.
"I've played with Torres at Old Trafford and he tortured Nemanja Vidic, he totally took him to the cleaners on this pitch in 2009. You wouldn't have swapped him for anyone.
"But now he can't even get on the pitch ahead of André Schürrle, who is only a winger. For me, in terms of an individual player, I don't think we'll ever see Torres come back to being the player we saw a few years ago against Vidic at Old Trafford."