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Everton must sign World Cup star Pau Torres

Everton had started the 2022/23 campaign off more vibrantly than last term as they looked to completely forget about a relegation-threatened few months.

They had acquired the signatures of James Tarkowski and Conor Coady with the defensive duo playing a big part in their revival.

The pair are nothing flashy but they had steadied the ship, proving to be astute acquisitions at the back.

Indeed, at the beginning of October, Everton were the best defensive side in the Premier League with the Toffees conceding just seven goals.

With that in mind, it would not be a surprise to see Frank Lampard bring in Coady on a permanent transfer once his loan deal expires at the conclusion of the campaign.

Such a deal would see a £4.5m transfer fee paid to Wolves who would be losing an experienced leader.

Coady has been exceptional since signing but if the Merseyside outfit want to sign a more expensive upgrade, they need to look no further than Pau Torres.

Reports in recent times suggest that Everton are one of the sides interested in sealing a move for the Villarreal centre-back, but any ideal could cost upwards of £40m.

Farhad Moshiri may have cost Everton a fortune in transfer disasters since arriving at Goodison Park but in Torres, they’d surely be signing a reliable asset, one who would only bolster an impressive centre-back pairing of Coady and Tarkowski.

It would even allow Lampard to play with a three-man defence, something that benefited Everton so greatly when attempting to stay in the division last season.

You only need to glance over at what he’s done at the World Cup to realise how effective a signing he would be.

He didn’t play in his country’s matches with Costa Rica and Germany but played during the 2-1 defeat to Japan. Now, that might not be a particularly good omen but his qualities on the ball were simply astonishing.

Indeed, the 25-year-old took a gargantuan 194 touches of the ball and completed a staggering 173 passes at a success rate of 92%.

To put those numbers into context, it’s the second-highest number of passes made by one player in a single game in World Cup history, with only Rodri (204) having achieved more. That just so happened to be in the same game against Japan.

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Furthermore, it’s 103.2 more passes than the average number of touches Torres has taken in La Liga this term.

With that in mind, it’s hardly a surprise that the Spaniard ranks in the top 16% of centre-backs in Europe’s top five leagues for progressive passes per 90 minutes.

He might not be an elite defender just yet but he typifies the modern-day centre-half. Indeed, he is very much a player capable of carrying the ball out from the back, a statement exemplified by his 0.56 dribbles per 90 – a number that ranks him in the top 5%.

Therefore, if Everton are aiming to bring more composure to their backline, Torres would certainly fit the bill. He was part of a defence that conceded just 37 times in the Spanish top-flight in 2021/22, the joint-fourth best side.

Torres knows an organised and efficient backline when he sees one and that experience could be vital when it comes to digging Lampard’s team out of the current rut they find themselves in.