Arsenal eye summer swoop for Pau Torres

Arsenal are keen on making a summer move for Spanish defender Pau Torres as Mikel Arteta looks to bolster his backline ahead of 2023/2024.

What’s the latest on Pau Torres to Arsenal?

According to reports in Spain, Villarreal are willing to sell Torres in the summer, setting a price tag of €50m (£44m).

The Gunners are said to be interested, although face competition for his signature from the likes of Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur.

The defender is currently in the last 18 months of his current contract, meaning the La Liga side aren’t in the best position ahead of the summer transfer window.

Could Torres be Arteta’s own Josko Gvardiol?

The defender has been in impressive form this season for Villarreal, achieving a Sofascore rating of 7.06/10 across 19 La Liga matches.

He has kept seven clean sheets while making 1.1 tackles, 0.5 interceptions, and a staggering 4.1 clearances per game along with winning 56% of his total duels, proving that he is extremely solid at the heart of the club’s defence.

The Spaniard’s wonderful performances throughout the previous year led Ryan Haber to describe him as a “dream” while he is also statistically very similar to young Croatian defender Gvardiol, meaning he could be an excellent addition at the Emirates.

Gvardiol shone for Croatia at the recent World Cup, winning over half of his total duels and making 5.3 clearances while being dribbled past just 0.4 times per game. His Sofascore rating of 7.16.10 ranked him as the fifth-best player for his country during the tournament and sparked attention for his services throughout Europe.

Chelsea and Manchester City have both been linked with the player and according to FBref, the Croatian prospect is the most similar player to Torres across Europe’s top leagues, which given how far the RB Leipzig defender could go in the game, is certainly not a bad comparison.

Indeed, this season has seen the two defenders register similar statistics with regard to pass success rate (88.5% to 86.4%), tackles won (11 to nine), blocks (20 to 21), aerial duels won (28 to 23) and ball recoveries (105 to 104).

It demonstrates that not only are the pair composed at playing out from the back but they are physical brutes.

The “extraordinary talent”– as dubbed by former Villarreal player Javi Calleja – could take the next step in his career by moving to Arsenal and under Arteta, he could learn a lot.

Having shone in La Liga, the Premier League should be his next port of call.