Pau Torres was one of the rising stars in the La Liga this season and the Villarreal defender has been the centre of interest of both Manchester United and Barcelona as they both look to overhaul their squad with his inclusion and we take a look at what will he bring to the squad if he is signed..
1. HE IS A LEFT FOOTED CENTRE BACK
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the moment lacks a centre back who is left footed and thus can play of the left side of the defence with him having to use club captain Harry Maguire in that position. The Argentine defender Marcos Rojo (who it seems is always injured by the way) is the only available left footed option at the heart of our defence and it is probably time for him to move on considering he is not wanted by Solskjaer at The Theater Of Dreams, leaving space for Pau Torres to fill that void. Torres is way different, he is sensible in his tackles and is more of a Ball-playing center back as compared to Rojo who likes to dive into tackles and as his team-mates describe him – “Is as hard as nails”. Pau Torres is exactly what Solskjaer wants in a centre back as we are currently seeing the transition from defensive counter attacking football to possession based attacking football and he uses his centre backs to build attack. His stats have been impressive in the La Liga where he has played 34 games and was by far Villarreal’s best player. He averages a successful tackle every game and has the highest interception per 90 ration in the La Liga with 4.4 per game. He is still not the finished article and United may be the ideal place for him to continue his development as Solskjaer is not afraid to give the young players game time…
|Impressive stats for someone who is only 23 years old…|
2. HE IS EXTREMELY FAST
One of the down falls of United’s defensive performances this season was that both of our two main centre backs were lacking in pace as multiple times, pacy attackers got in behind our defensive line and we weren’t able to cope with it – case in point the Bergwijn goal post-lockdown where Maguire was not quick enough to catch him after an error and Lindelof, a tad too slow to cover although he was not at fault. Still, there have been multiple cases where this weakness was highlighted and while Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe are quick enough, they are way too injury prone and that is another reason why we should consider signing the Villareal centre back who can also act as cover for the Left Back position as he is a capable enough dribbler. He was the fastest centre back this season in the La Liga with him attaining a top speed of 34.9 km/h (close to 21 miles per hour). His pace could prove to be extremely valuable to us as he would be more than capable in dealing with fast-attackers in the Premier League like Jamie Vardy, Mo Salah, Bergwijn, Aubameyang etc..
|Fast enough to deal with the likes of Vardy?? Hopefully we’ll find out..|
3. HE IS STILL VERY YOUNG
Only 23 years old, Pau Torres has a bright career in front of him. He was the shining light in an otherwise dismal season for Villarreal as they slipped to 14th place as opposed to their 5th place finish last season. Extremely defensively solid, he doesn’t make too many mistakes – in fact only one in the entire season which ended up being an owl goal. It is definitely clear that he is too good for the Villarreal team and should be looking to move on with Manchester United and Barcelona interested in acquiring his services at the cost £44.5 million which is his reported release clause.
|£44.5 million surely isn’t too much for him considering we paid 80 million for Maguire..|
4. WHERE DOES HE FIT IN AT MANCHESTER UNITED??
Torres, if he signs for the Red Devils will probably be a squad player and can perhaps ease the load on Harry Maguire who had to play more than 5000 minutes last season and that did lead to an error or two in him. His best partnership would be with Harry Maguire as Pau Torres needs to develop aerially while Maguire is more than capable of dealing with aerial balls and could be used with Lindelof when we need to break teams down as he is a better one-on-one defender when we are faced with a counter attack. These three could form United’s defensive fulcrum with them being in constant rotation to provide rest to each other and can also be utilise in a back three should Solskjaer choose such a formation with him on the left, Maguire on the right and Lindelof acting as the Libero.
Since we have Champions League football, the addition of Pau Torres would be an ideal one as we need some defenders who aren’t injury prone and he fits Solskjaer’s signing theme – as he is young , fast and hungry for game time and also adding the fact that he is a left-footed center back which they lack currently. Many people will argue this could halt the progress of Axel Tuanzebe but this should mean that Eric Bailly is shown the door along with Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo. If we are to challenge for trophies, the rebuild needs to start with our defense which started with the signing of Harry Maguire and Pau Torres could be the signing we need to complete it. Woodward needs to get this over the line if he sincerely cares about the club and the funds raised from the sales of Bailly, Smalling, Jones and Rojo should be enough to sign him. What do you think will he add to our squad?? Comment below…