He told The Sun: "Rickie has been different class for us for the last three or four years.
"For someone of his build, his touch is unbelievable. He is great to have in your team.
"Torres and Demba Ba have scored lots of goals in their careers and you don't pay £50m for someone who isn't any good.
"But if you asked who I'd rather have in my team, I'd say Rickie."