Not only are some of Antonio Conte’s biggest stars competing in the tournament but sporting director Fabio Paratici will be keeping tabs on several potential signings with the January transfer window just around the corner.
Harry Kane will be leading out England on Monday afternoon, whilst the likes of Cristian Romero (Argentina), Heung-min Son (South Korea) and Hugo Lloris (France) are all key cogs for their respective nations.
However, there isn’t much being said about Spain, who are arguably still very much in the ‘rebuild’ phase, having moved on from superstars like Xavi, Andres Iniesta and more recently, Sergio Ramos – three players who lifted the World Cup back in 2010.
The long-term national heir to the former Real Madrid man seems to be Pau Torres, who could emerge as a surprise package this month, and according to 90min, he’s a player that Spurs remain keen on signing heading into 2023.
The Villarreal central defender has regularly been linked with a switch to north London, with reports suggesting that Paratici and co had submitted an enquiry last summer.
La Roja have been handed quite a tricky group, where they will face Germany, Japan and Costa Rica with all three likely to prove tough opposition and under Luis Enrique, that pass-heavy philosophy has remained, meaning players like Torres will see plenty of the ball.
It’s a backline that conceded only five times during qualification and the 25-year-old – who is likely to command £40m, as per the report – is an ideal fit to feature and if he does, and then impresses, he could be one of the surprise sensations of the tournament.
As per FBref, Torres has registered an average of 3.50 progressive passes per 90, which is within the top 13% of all centre-backs across Europe over the last year, whilst he has been rather consistent in LaLiga this term, mustering up an 86.6% passing accuracy.
By no means a guaranteed starter, he has featured far more regularly than Manchester City colossus Aymeric Laporte and plays for a far weaker Spanish side than Barca’s Eric Garcia, so his numbers are a little more impressive.
If he continues to impress on the world’s biggest stage, then Spurs better act fast as there will be a queue of clubs lining up to sign Torres – who was once dubbed an “exciting talent” by ESPN editor David Cartlidge – in January.
Given his passing and left-footed ability, he could stun many at the World Cup and subsequently make a good signing for Conte’s quest to bring success to the club in 2023.