According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal are amongst the clubs to have been credited with an interest in Villarreal defender Pau Torres, who is currently making waves with his impressive displays in the La Liga.
The Daily Mail understands that Man United and Chelsea are also keeping tabs on the 22-year-old centre-back but Arsenal are ahead of their Premier League rivals in the race to sign the talented youngster next summer.
Rewarded with a new five-year deal earlier in the summer, Pau Torres has caught the eye of Unai Emery and Arsenal’s scouting team with his rich vein of form early in the ongoing campaign, with former fan-favourite Santi Cazorla’s recommendation expected to carry a lot of weight. (h/t Daily Mail)
Born in Villarreal, Torres rose through the youth ranks of his hometown club before making his senior professional debut in the 2016-17 season.
Having made only a solitary appearance in his first season, the defender subsequently went on to feature in the La Liga and Europa League in the following campaign before moving out on loan to Malaga in the second-tier.
A successful loan stint at Malaga the last term paved the way for Torres to cement a regular starting place in Villarreal’s first-team and the 22-year-old has so far grabbed his opportunities with both hands, starting each of Villarreal’s first eight games in the La Liga this term and playing every minute of their league campaign thus far.
The 22-year-old’s rapid development hasn’t gone unnoticed, with his commanding displays at the heart of the defence earning him a call-up to Spain’s senior national team ahead of the most recent international break.
Standing at 6ft.4 inches with a towering frame, Pau Torres has impressed with his calmness and composure at the back, while also illustrating a good level of proficiency in playing the ball out from the back with short exchanges.
As per whoscored, the 22-year-old averages 55.6 passes per game at an accuracy percentage of 85.8, including 6.3 successful long balls and 4.4 clearances, figures which speak volumes of his well-rounded abilities as an up and coming centre-back.
To put things into perspective, Pau Torres is held in high regard as a player with serious potential in his homeland and Arsenal could land themselves a long-term solution to their defensive conundrum by making a move for the rising La Liga star next summer.
The Gunners splashed the cash in the summer to bring in David Luiz from Chelsea as a short-term fix following the departure of long-serving club-captain Laurent Koscielny under acrimonious circumstances but that gamble has so far failed to pay any dividends, with the Brazilian already coming under scrutiny several times for his lapses in concentration.
William Saliba, who was acquired as a long-term prospect this summer, will be expected to be a part of Unai Emery’s plans for the next season when he returns from his loan spell at St. Etienne.
However, with Sokratis nearing the autumn of his career at 31, Konstantinos Mavropanos a regular on the treatment table and Shkodran Mustafi very much a marginalised figure these days, the door is very much open for a burgeoning young talent like Pau Torres to come in and make an instant impact on the first-team.
Emery has shown that he is ready to put their trust in youngsters if they are capable of doing a job, with the rise of Bukayo Saka, Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson being prime examples of the manager’s trust in up and coming players, and Torres is only going to get better with time.
The Spaniard is still very young for a centre-back but his talent and potential has been there for everybody to witness and Arsenal making a move for him would underpin their long-term plans moving forward under the stewardship of Emery.
With that in mind, the Gunners should go all out in their pursuit of the Villarreal star next summer, as a move for him would make perfect sense for a number of reasons.