Wolves are reportedly interested in signing Villarreal defender Pau Torres and the Spaniard could be Julen Lopetegui’s own version of Antonio Rudiger at Molineux.
According to 90min, the Old Gold, along with Aston Villa, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur are all keen on the Spain international, who looks set to star for Luis Enrique’s side in Qatar at the World Cup.
The 25-year-old has been a mainstay in Villarreal’s impressive sides in recent seasons, helping the Spanish side to the Champions League semi-final last season, after winning the Europa League in the 2020/21 campaign.
This term has seen the centre-back make 13 appearances in La Liga, in which he has averaged a solid 6.64 rating from WhoScored for his performances, which ranks him ahead of both Max Kilman and Nathan Collins in Wolves’ squad, while his experience of playing in Europe’s elite competition suggests that he could be an upgrade to the Old Gold’s backline.
Football content creator Ryan Haber suggested that Torres could be part of a “dream” transfer window for Manchester United in the summer transfer window and indeed he could be exactly that at Wolves should he sign.
Owen Hargreaves was also full of praise for the defender on BT Sport last season.
Would Torres be a good signing?
He said: “He’s a fantastic player. I’m quite surprised he’s still at Villarreal. English teams were looking at him.
“I think everyone was talking about Man United and even Real Madrid, I think his potential is literally that high.
“He’s got a fabulous left foot, he’s great in possession. A fantastic player so I don’t think he’ll be at Villarreal very long.”
Therefore, Torres is clearly a highly-rated defender and it is easy to see why Lopetegui might want to bring him to Molineux, but when you compare him with Real Madrid stalwart Antonio Rudiger, there is little to suggest that the Spaniard – who is set to feature for Spain at the World Cup – wouldn’t improve Wolves’ ailing backline.
FBRef suggests that the former Chelsea defender is the tenth-most similar player to Torres when compared to other centre-backs in Europe’s top leagues.
Last season saw the two defenders register similar statistics with regard to expected assists (both 1.5), blocked passes (both nine) and aerial duels won (58 vs 56).
WhoScored also suggests that both Rudiger and Torres‘ main strengths are passing and concentration, so they are clearly similar defenders.
Given Rudiger’s impressive form at Chelsea before his move to Los Blancos, Lopetegui would surely be foolish to turn down a player similar to the German at Molineux.