An update has emerged on Aston Villa and their interest in raiding Unai Emery’s former club Villarreal during the January transfer window…
According to 90min, the Spanish head coach is eyeing up a number of his former players with a view to bringing them to Villa Park this month.
The report claims that Villarreal central defender Pau Torres is one of the gems on his radar, alongside the likes of Nicolas Jackson, Arnaut Danjuma, and Samuel Chukwueze.
Football Insider previously claimed that the Spain international is valued at £40m by the La Liga side, whilst it was reported last summer that he has a £55m release clause, but it remains to be seen whether or not Villa are willing to meet their demands.
Emery could land a big upgrade on current centre-back Ezri Konsa by securing a deal to sign Torres from Villarreal before the end of the window.
Torres has completed 87% of his attempted passes and made 1.5 tackles and interceptions per game, whilst also winning 63% of his ground duels – as per Sofascore.
These statistics suggest that both players are strong in their physical duels on the deck but the Villarreal man is capable of delivering higher-quality performances on a regular basis.
Torres would also be a big upgrade on the Villa man in terms of the quality he offers in possession. He ranks in the best 17% and top 6% respectively for progressive passes and completed dribbles per 90 amongst his positional peers in Europe’s top five leagues over the last 365 days.
Konsa, meanwhile, ranks in the worst 95% and worst 67% respectively, indicating that he is well below average when it comes to progressing the ball out from the back. Whereas, the Villarreal dynamo, who was once dubbed an “extraordinary talent” by his former coach Javi Calleja, is well above average in that regard.
This means that Torres, whilst also putting in better defensive performances week-in-week-out, has the potential to be a major upgrade on the ex-Brentford gem in terms of the build-up play he can provide for Emery, which could improve the speed at which Villa get from back to front.