Why Arsenal must make a move for Villarreal’s Pau Torres in the summer
Former Arsenal star Santi Cazorla has revealed that he has received calls from people at the north London club to discuss over his Villarreal teammates Pau Torres and Samuel Chukwueze (h/t Daily Mail).
A product of the Villarreal youth academy, Pau Torres, 23, has shone in recent times. He broke onto the scene last season when he starred on a loan spell at second-tier Malaga, where he made 40 appearances. The Spaniard has been at the heart of Villarreal’s defence this season, making 22 appearances in all competitions.
Due to his impressive performances in the La Liga this term, the centre-back received his maiden call-up to the Spanish national debut in October 2019. Torres made his debut for the Spanish national team in November – replacing Sergio Ramos in the 7-0 win over Malta, when he also netted.
Torres’ Villarreal teammate, Samuel Chukwueze, 20, is one of the exciting young players in the La Liga. He is young, has bags of potential and has already played 12 times for Nigeria. The 20-year-old has scored four goals and claimed as many assists so far this season for the Yellow Submarine.
Meanwhile, Arsenal have endured a very poor campaign and are 10th in the table. They have shown little signs of improvement under Mikel Arteta.
With the Gunners porous at the back, Arteta focused on reinforcing his defence in January by signing Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares from Flamengo and Southampton respectively. Despite the addition of Mari, there’s still a lack of quality and depth in that position. Arteta should add more quality to the backline after the poor form of the likes of David Luiz and Sokratis Papastathopoulos this season.
And Villarreal’s Pau Torres would be a good fit for the Gunners. As per WhoScored, Torres has averaged 1 tackle, 0.8 interceptions, 4.7 clearances and 0.9 blocks. He has also won 1.5 aerial duels per game, registered 0.4 key passes and 6.2 long balls.
David Luiz, Arsenal’s senior centre-back, has averaged 1 tackle, 1 interception, 4 clearances and 1.1 blocks. The Brazilian has also averaged 1.6 aerial duels, registering 0.1 key passes and 5.2 long balls. [Courtesy: WhoScored]
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When compared, Torres would be an upgrade over the ageing Luiz in certain aspects while being capable of slotting into Arteta’s squad which has lacked a young and powerful presence in the heart of the defence.
Considering Arsenal’s long-standing defensive problems this season, Arteta should definitely sign a new centre-back in the summer after adding Mari in January. And a talented player like Torres would represent a smart long-term investment at the Emirates Stadium.