The 2019/20 Premier League season was one to forget for Manchester City. They failed to retain their title and finished a whopping 18 points behind their rivals, Liverpool, in second place.
Manchester City lost nine games in the league this season and finished 17 points short of their 2018-19 season tally of 98.
As if that was not enough, Manchester City will now be without two of their key players next season. Leroy Sane has moved to Bayern Munich, and David Silva is leaving Manchester City after ten years at the club. It means that if Manchester City wish to compete with Liverpool for domestic honours next season, they will require some additional firepower.
The Cityzens will need at least a few signings to rejuvenate the squad if they intend to challenge for the Premier League and Champions League again next season. Thankfully, the first of those signings are on the cusp of completion, as Spanish winger Ferran Torres is set to join Manchester City from Valencia.
The Manchester City Transfer Gossip
Pep Guardiola is said to be a long term admirer of Valencia's Ferran Torres.
According to renowned football journalist Fabrizio Romano who specialises in player transfers, Manchester City have agreed personal terms with Torres and have reached an agreement with Valencia over his transfer.
Torres is set to join Manchester City for a transfer fee of £24.5 million and a 5-year contract worth £55,000 a week. Initially, Valencia valued the winger in and around the 40 million pound mark.
However, due to the urgent need of cash in these uncertain times and the fact that Torres only has one year left on his contract, the La Liga club had to settle for a lower fee with significant add ons instead.
Ferran Torres had been previously linked with the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United, but it seems that the prospect of working with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City was enough to convince him to come to the Etihad.
Who is Ferran Torres?
Ferran Torres joined the Valencia academy at the age of six and rose through the ranks at the Mestalla to become the first player born in the 2000s to play in the La Liga as well as Valencia's youngest player to rack up 50 La Liga appearances.
Torres has played for the Spain national team across all age groups where he has tasted plenty of success.
He was a part of the Spain squad that won the U-17 European Championships in 2017. In the U-19 European Championships in 2019, he scored the winning penalty in the semifinal and a brace against Portugal in the final. Torres also featured in the 2017 U-17 World Cup final where Spain lost to England who was led by Manchester City's Phil Foden.
The midfielder has been one of the bright sparks for Valencia in a largely disappointing La Liga campaign where the club finished ninth.
Torres scored four La Liga goals and bagged five assists, which is impressive considering he had to play under three different managers in the season. He created nine big chances from the right flank this season, which was the 13th most in the 2019-20 La Liga.
He managed 54 take-ons, which was the 20th most in the league. He was also excellent in the Champions League, where he bagged four goal contributions and became the youngest player from a Spanish club to score in the competition.
Ferran Torres is an electric player blessed with immense pace and trickery, which helps him stretch opposition defences. He is a classic right-footed right-winger, a quality that is quite rare these days thanks to the popularity of inverted wingers.
Torres does like to hug the touchline and deliver a cross to his team-mates. However, he is also capable of cutting inside as well. Thanks to his blistering pace and acceleration, Torres is a menace in one-on-one situations and excels in taking on defenders and breaking through the lines.
Manchester City's newest recruit thrives in counter-attacking situations, although, he can also be effective in tight spaces thanks to his impressive ball control and trickery.
He averages 3.8 dribbles, 1.4 shots and one key pass per game, which shows the degree of threat he can pose for someone who can dribble and create. Ferran Torres also has quite an impressive build. He is six feet tall, and this could help Manchester City in both defensive and attacking set-pieces.
How Ferran Torres will fit in at Manchester City
With Leroy Sane off to Bayern Munich after four seasons with Manchester City, the club needed some extra bodies on the wing. In Ferran Torres, they have one of the brightest talents in Europe.
While Torres is not a like for like replacement for Sane, he does provide a lot of the same qualities that the German provided. Like Torres, Sane had also joined Manchester City as a 20-year-old and excelled on the left side of a front three. Torres, however, is more likely to play as a right-winger as he did for Valencia on the right-hand side of a 4-4-2 system.
Guardiola will most likely use Torres on the right side of a 4-3-3 alongside Sergio Aguero as the striker and Raheem Sterling on the left flank. Initially, it is likely that Torres may be used as a backup option for Riyadh Mahrez who is Manchester City's primary starter on the right-wing.
Torres however, offers something different to Manchester City compared to the club's other wingers.
Riyadh Mahrez is left-footed and likes to cut inside and shoot from the right. Foden is another left-footed player who has been used on the right-wing by Pep Guardiola since the restart. Raheem Sterling similarly prefers to cut inside from the left and unleash with his lethal right foot.
Torres, on the other hand, is different as he likes to stick to the touchline and beat a defender on the outside before crossing the ball in. Hence Guardiola can use him as a different option on the Manchester City right wing. His presence on the right-wing will also allow Kyle Walker to act as an inverted full-back, which is something Pep Guardiola likes to do with his full-backs.
Alternatively, the Manchester City tactician can use Torres on the left-wing and ask him to cut inside with his right foot while either Mahrez or Sterling occupies the position on the right.
Ferran Torres is an excellent piece of business for Manchester City as he is a young, exciting prospect who offers the club tactical flexibility and a bit of unpredictability.
Manchester City might be the perfect environment for Torres to develop as world-class players, and a coach will surround him.
He does not need to immediately step in and perform thanks to Manchester City's squad depth. That might allow him to adapt to the pace and physicality of the Premier League.
In time, it may seem like an excellent piece of business to let Sane go for £50 million and replace him with an exciting prospect like Torres for nearly half that amount.
Manchester City are set to be aggressive in the transfer market after a rather shambolic league performance. By the first looks of it, Ferran Torres may be the first of many new arrivals at the Etihad this summer.Published 31 Jul 2020, 21:56 IST