Monday, August 8, 2022

Manchester United Edging Closer To Signing Villarreal Defensive Ace: The Right Choice For Ten Hag?

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Pratik Das
The youngest member of The 4th Official and an ardent Premier League fan who is basically obsessed with scouting young talents and is consumed by the idea of finding the perfect number 10.

Recent reports from Daily Express state that Manchester United are edging closer to signing Villarreal defender Pau Torres in the summer transfer window as Erik Ten Hag looks set to add to his defensive options ahead of the 2022/23 season.

Transfer insider Dean Jones claimed the same in an interview with GiveMeSport a couple of days back.

“I think, from what I understand, a lot of people close to Pau Torres do see this deal as one that is still gathering pace,” he said.

“People close to the player say it is close and Villarreal think there’s a good chance it will happen.”

With two years left on his present contract at the Estadio de la Ceramica, Villarreal are likely to demand a fee in the region of £51 million for the star.

Having come through the academy at Villarreal itself, the 25-year-old centre-half established himself as an important figure in the team last season after returning from an initial breakthrough loan spell at Malaga in the Spanish second division in 2018/19.

Villarreal's Pau Torres
Spain’s defender Pau Torres (L) shakes hands with Portugal’s forward Cristiano Ronaldo at the end of the UEFA Nations League, league A group 2 football match between Spain and Portugal, at the Benito Villamarin stadium in Seville on June 2, 2022. (Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP via Getty Images)
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This term, the Spanish international managed to put up some impressive numbers on the board – averaging one tackle, 0.6 interceptions, and 0.7 blocks per 90 minutes in the La Liga (calculated over 33 appearances). Moreover, with 4.2 long balls played per match with an average pass accuracy of 86%, he has been one of the standout performers on his side this season. These numbers underline his capabilities of holding on to the ball when needed and how he can pick up the right man on the other side of the pitch to start counter-attacks effortlessly.

Standing at 190 centimetres, Torres has won almost half of his aerial duels while making 3.1 clearances per game, thereby asserting his aerial dominance in and around the 18-yard-box.

The Right Choice For Ten Hag?

Given the present circumstances, signing a quality centre-back should be the board’s first priority once the summer transfer window opens. It’s beyond any doubt that the Manchester United certainly need to upgrade on their options at the back to try and solve their issues at the back – and Pau Torres fits the bill.

His move to the Old Trafford will mean that he instantly competes with Harry Maguire or Raphael Varane for a position in the starting eleven.

At 25, Torres will only get better with each season, so it won’t be a complete surprise if United break the bank to secure Torres’ signature.

(Stats from WhoScored)

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