Arsenal are interested in a deal to bring Ferran Torres to The Emirates in the January transfer window.
What’s the talk?
That’s according to Dean Jones, with the transfer insider revealing in a recent interview with GIVEMESPORT that Mikel Arteta is a big fan of the Barcelona forward, before going on to suggest that, after making an approach for the 22-year-old in the summer, Arsenal believe the Spain international could become available this winter.
Regarding the Gunners’ interest in Torres, Jones said: “They really like Ferran Torres, and they clearly believe he might become available because they inquired about him in the summer as well. So, if they’re sniffing around him again now, they sense that something’s up.”
Arteta’s own Foden
Considering just how impressive Torres has been for Barcelona ever since his £54.7m move from Manchester City last January, coupled with the fact that Gabriel Jesus looks set to spend around three months on the sidelines due to a knee injury, it is not difficult to understand why Arteta would be interested in a move for the Spaniard in January.
Indeed, over his 18 LaLiga appearances in his debut campaign at the Camp Nou, the £105m-rated talent was in fantastic form going forwards, scoring four goals, registering four assists and creating seven big chances for his teammates, in addition to taking an average 2.9 shots – 1.1 of which hit the target – making 0.7 key passes and completing 0.7 dribbles per game.
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These returns saw the 22-year-old – who is capable of operating from any position across a front three – average an extremely impressive Sofascore match rating of 6.98, ranking him as Xavi Hernández’s 14th-best performer in the top flight of Spanish football last time out.
The £165k-per-week winger also caught the eye over his six outings in the Europa League last season, bagging two goals, providing two assists and creating one big chance, as well as taking an average of 2.8 shots, making 0.8 key passes and completing 1.7 dribbles per match – with these returns seeing the Spaniard average a Sofascore match rating of 6.92.
Putting some of these numbers into context, FBref currently rank Torres in the top 6% of attacking midfielders and wingers in Europe’s big five leagues for shots per 90, in addition to the top 9% for non-penalty xG, the top 18% for pass completion, the top 15% for touches in the opposition penalty area and the top 6% for progressive passes received.
These metrics see FBref list some of the biggest talents in European football as Torres’ most comparable players, with Manchester City starlet Phil Foden, RB Leipzig sensation Christopher Nkunku and Tottenham Hotspur flanker Son Heung-min all on the list.
Foden, who is equally as dazzling in the final third, is a particularly outstanding case given Arteta will know him well from his days as the assistant manager at the Etihad, where the Spaniard no doubt would have had a great influence over one of England’s hottest talents, something he will now hope rubs off on Torres too.
As such, should Arteta manage to get a deal over the line for the 22-year-old – who Pep Guardiola claimed has “the smell” for goals that all good number nines have – in January, the Spaniard could well have landed his very own version of the City star at The Emirates – something that is sure to be an extremely exciting prospect for all involved with the Gunners.