Why Pau Torres could ease Arsenal’s issues at the back
The 23-year-old’s impressive displays at the back have impressed Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, who is the hunt for defenders ahead of next season (h/t Football.London).
Arteta’s Arsenal have had one of their worst season’s in recent times with the side falling to a poor ninth in the league standings. An inconsistent and weak defence has been one of the reasons for the Gunners’ poor display this season.
They have conceded as many as 36 goals in their 28 league games, forcing Arteta to go in search of a new defensive face. Meanwhile, roping in Torres, who signed a new contract last October with a release clause of £43m (h/t Football.London) would not be an easy affair for Arsenal.
After an impressive one-year loan spell at second division side Malaga, young centre-back Torres has evolved into a first-team regular within the Javier Calleja-led Villarreal side.
During his stint at Malaga, Torres had helped the side reach the promotion play-offs, forcing his parent club to recall him by the end of the season. This season he has been a mainstay at Villarreal helping them climb to eighth in the table with his standout displays at the back.
Compared to their 14th place finish last season, this is a big leap for a side that was battling a relegation threat and Torres has been one of the main reasons for this. Having missed just three of Villarreal’s 27 league outings due to a muscle injury, Torres has established himself as one of the consistent regulars within the current line-up.
He has been part of nine of the side’s total 11 wins in the league and has six clean sheets to his credit, making clear sense of Gunners’ interests in him. Meanwhile, Arsenal have had issues at the back since the beginning of the season despite roping in seasoned campaigner David Luiz from Chelsea.
Except for Luiz, none of the Arsenal defenders have been consistent enough due to which Arteta had to dip into the winter market and bring in Flamengo defender Pablo Mari on loan till the end of this season.
Also, injuries at the back to defensive personnel such as Rob Holding and Calum Chambers has affected the team’s rhythm thus affecting their performances. Hence, it would be better if Arsenal speed-up their pursuits of in-form man Torres if they wish to better their displays next season.
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Despite having four centre-backs, Arsenal are in clear need of a consistent defender to help them resolve their issues at the back. And who better than Torres, who has become a vital member of the Villarreal line-up.
Moreover, he is young and given the upward curve in his performances in the past couple of seasons, should continue to develop and improve. Thus, Arsenal should try and sign him soon if they wish to strengthen their defence next season.