When Valencia started to go into full meltdown mode last summer, Manchester City were there to pick up the pieces and snap up Spanish winger Ferran Torres for a ludicrously cheap £21m.
Those who had watched the youngster in action couldn’t believe just how well City had done, and Torres spent the 2020/21 season proving to those who didn’t know him why he is easily worth at least double that.
In anticipation of his first major tournament with Spain, Torres is part of an elite group of young footballers that 90min will be following closely – they make up ‘Our 21’.
Here’s what you can expect from him at Euro 2020.
How Torres has performed this season
Cursed with being part of a stacked bunch of forwards, Torres didn’t start as many games as he would have liked in his debut season in England, but still managed to make a decent impact.
In 36 games (24 starts), he walked away with 13 goals and three assists, including an outstanding hat-trick against Newcastle that had fans heralding him as the long-term replacement for the departing Sergio Aguero.
He easily deserved more minutes, but with Pep Guardiola also trying to keep Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva happy at the same time, nobody ended up winning and now half of them want out of City this summer.
This is why you can’t have nice things.
What makes Torres so valuable is his ability to play literally anywhere across the front line without any real drop-off in his performance levels.
He’s predominantly a right winger, playing there almost exclusively with Spain and earlier in his career with Valencia. However, in England, he has actually played more in other positions than in his preferred one.
Guardiola used Torres as an option both at striker and out on the left, and the 21-year-old always responded with goals. He proved he can play anywhere, but if we have to say one position, it’s right wing.
Who does Torres play like?
Throughout his career, Torres has been compared to players of various reputations and profiles. Some are understandable, but some are a little mad.
A complete winger who is comfortable with both feet and happy either cutting inside or driving to the by-line, a young Torres was compared to Marco Asensio, before seeing similarities to famous Spaniards Joaquin and Vicente.
One comparison which Torres encourages is to a young Cristiano Ronaldo. I know, it sounds a little bold, but both are quick, powerful players who can skin defenders in all sorts of ways. There’s obviously a gulf in quality, but in terms of play style, it’s actually not that bad.
What Torres’ teammates have said about him
“What he has done is very great, I think he deserves it because he works really hard every day to score many goals. I hope he can help us more on the pitch.”
– Aymeric Laporte
“He is a great player. He scored another great goal and we are happy to have such a player.”
– Ilkay Gundogan
What Pep Guardiola & Luis Enrique have said about Torres
“Ferran has an incredible sense of goal. The most satisfying thing was the way they came in. In training he already has the ability and he is a good finisher. He has pace, quality and good decision-making. Some games we need a proper striker and we’ve used him and he’s done really well. He’s a winger, of course, but an alternative.”
– Pep Guardiola
“Ferran Torres has been at a very high level, on both wings. He’s a constant danger to defences. He is one of the players whose crosses are the best in La Liga. More than crosses, I think he is making key passes too.”
– Luis Enrique
FIFA 21 rating and potential
An established star already at the start of the season, Torres began FIFA 21 as an 81 overall and remains there to this day.
Pick him up on Career Mode and you could have an 89-rated player on your hands if you play your cards right. He’s already so well-rounded, with 4* skills and 4* weak foot to boot, but he can become an unreal player with the right training.
Football Manager rating
You shouldn’t really need Football Manager 2021 to tell you that Torres is a wonderkid, but as we all know, it’s not official until FM says so.
He starts the game off as the kind of player you’d want coming off your bench at a team competing for major silverware, as you can see.
The problem with Torres is simulations aren’t always kind to him in FM. As a squad player for a team with City’s budget, he sometimes gets lost in the void at the Etihad when you get a few years deep.
City love bringing in expensive forwards and limiting Torres’ minutes. In this save, he’s out on loan at Arsenal after being bumped out by two wingers who were both signed for over £80m, but the fact that this is what his stats can look like if you absolutely ruin him should have you excited over what a little bit of love could do to him.
What boots will Torres wear at Euro 2020?
Torres loves the adidas X Ghosted boots, favouring the ‘shock pink’ colourway over any others.
The City man has brought out yellow and white at different times this season, but the pink has always been his go-to.
How involved will Torres be at Euro 2020?
After being a squad player at club level, expect Torres to take centre-stage at Euro 2020 with Spain.
He’s started seven of his ten games for Spain, which tells you how highly valued he is under Enrique. Torres is the undisputed starter in his position, and those consistent minutes have yielded six goals already in his career – five in his last four competitive games.
He may spend some time on the left, where Mikel Oyarzabal is the only natural in his position, but expect to see Torres dominating on the right for most of the summer.