According to The Sun, Arsenal are preparing a move for Pau Torres in the upcoming January transfer window. The Villarreal centre-back has been identified as the ideal target for Unai Emery as he plans to solve the club’s defensive woes. However, the Gunners will need to meet Torres’ £43 million release clause if they are to attain his services.
Torres’ rapid rise to prominence
A product of the Villarreal youth academy, Torres has become one of the key members of the Villarreal backline this season, mostly thanks to an impressive loan spell at Malaga last term. He has been involved in 13 league matches so far and has also netted a goal.
Torres’ emergence has been critical to Villarreal following the summer departures of Ruben Semedo, Victor Ruiz and Juan Ibiza. The 22-year-old has built a strong defensive partnership with new signing Raul Albiol. The former Napoli man’s composure and leadership have combined well with Torres’ youthful exuberance and overall athleticism.
Although Villarreal have conceded considerably more goals than their rivals, Torres’ contribution at the back has certainly minimised their defensive frailties. The defender was recently rewarded with a maiden call-up to the Spanish national team against Malta in the Euro 2020 qualifiers.
What can he bring to the table?
Torres is essentially a ball-playing defender, who has attained a pass completion rate of 84%. He can distribute the ball in between the lines with his laser passes while he is also known for his keen awareness. Moreover, the Spaniard boasts a tall 191cm figure that gives him a considerable advantage in the air.
But most importantly, Torres is an assured tackler and has attained a success rate of 100% so far. That means he is yet to be dribbled past this season, which is quite an interesting statistic.
Stat courtesy: Whoscored
Is Torres a viable target for Arsenal?
Torres could make a smart piece of investment for Arsenal given how much they have lacked the presence of a ball-playing defender this season. The Villarreal star could enhance the club’s build-up from the back – making them much more versatile in their approach play. Besides, his Spanish roots mean he won’t have any difficulties understanding Emery’s tactical scheme.
Moreover, his non-impulsive nature in defence, coupled with his tackling prowess, could add another dimension to the Arsenal defence. His composure and skill would combine well with the robust and no-nonsense defensive nature of Sokratis – thus making him an ideal target for the Gunners.