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Aston Villa: Unai Emery would “love” to sign Pau Torres

A claim has emerged on Aston Villa boss Unai Emery and his interest in signing Pau Torres from his former club Villarreal…

What’s the talk?

During a Q&A (14/11/22) for the Birmingham Mail, journalist Ashley Preece has revealed that the Spanish head coach wants to sign the central defender but that he may not be able to until next summer.

When asked about whether or not there are “legs” to the club’s reported interest in the £40m-rated defender, he replied:

“Pau Torres, of course there is, Villarreal’s standout player and one Emery rates highly.

“He’d love to bring him to Villa Park but, should Villa firm up their interest, it won’t be, I feel, until the summer. Emery will continue to work with what he’s got defensively at the moment. Konsa and Mings have been great value these past weeks. Chambers struggled at OT… Diego Carlos will return early 2023 (Emery likes him).

“But you’re right, Emery likes his defenders to start attacks, Torres can do that and he would be seen as an upgrade on what we’ve got. One to watch, that one.”

It would be a masterstroke

Emery using his contacts at Villarreal to secure a deal to sign Torres, whether it happens in the January transfer window or next summer, would be a masterstroke by the Spaniard.

Should Aston Villa sign Pau Torres?

Yes

Yes

No

No

One of the benefits of bringing in a manager of his reputation, with the career that he has had, is that he could have the pull to convince signings to potentially take a step down, if they are playing in Europe elsewhere, to join the project at Villa Park if he has worked with them before.

Torres coming in as a result of his pre-existing relationship with the defensive titan would, therefore, be a masterstroke by Emery, and by the club for bringing the manager in to replace Steven Gerrard.

The Villarreal centre-back ranks in the 87th and 95th percentile among players in his position over the last 365 days in Europe’s top five leagues for progressive passes made and dribbles completed respectively per 90.

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Meanwhile, current central defenders Ezri Konsa and Tyrone Mings both rank in the 57th percentile or lower in these statistics in the Premier League.

This suggests that Torres would be a major upgrade on Villa’s current options in that area of the pitch and would be a better fit for what Emery wants from his defenders, as he is more adept at bringing the ball out from the back and passing into forward areas.

The Spain international averaged a SofaScore rating of 7.09 in La Liga last season and won 66% of his individual duels, which shows that he can deliver consistently brilliant defensive displays, dominating opposition attackers, whilst also offering quality in possession.

Therefore, bringing him in would be a masterstroke by Villa and Emery and the club must simply ensure that they can get a deal over the line for the centre-back in one of the next two windows.

Article title: Aston Villa: Unai Emery would “love” to sign Pau Torres

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