Manchester United’s hunt for a center-back – part one – Pau Torres – Man United news and transfers


Manchester United want to sign a center-back on the condition that he can sack one of the six they currently have on the books.

Based on the evidence of a disastrous defensive performance last season, this center-back will need to be able to claim his starting spot. In this three-part series, we’ll look at three options that were linked to the club.

The People’s Person previously argued that Lisandro Martinez made more sense to United as a signer in the summer of 2022 than Jurrien Timber, with good reason that the current squad doesn’t have a single left-footed option at the heart of the defense.

With that being said, this series will look at three left-footed center-backs who are said to be on the radar of Erik’s new boss ten The Hague.

Along with some insights and observations, we’re going to use the stats we get from Squawka (which uses Opta’s data to compare players across the seven big European leagues) to see how the transfer goals stack up against each other, starting with Part One with Pau Torres.

The Villareal man certainly has the looks of an elegant defender, confident from the back and easygoing under pressure.

The 25-year-old Spaniard has been watched by Manchester United for many years and his appearances in the unlikely Villareal run to the Champions League semi-finals will do nothing to stifle the club’s interest.

A look at his La Liga stats will only crank him up even more, and Torres will finish 0.8 starts at 90 ‘with an amazing success rate of 89.29%

He is a player who is not afraid of dribbling or anything but top class defenders. By comparison, he made four times as many dribbles in the 90 ‘than Harry Maguire – known for enjoying his fall – he made last season and with a much higher success rate.

On the defensive, Pau Torres is a space master, with 71.57% success in ground duels and 6.1 retrieved balls per game last season.

Not only do these numbers overshadow the numbers of all Manchester United center-backs last season, they are also much better than those Raphael Varane had at Real Madrid last season.

However, Torres fights in his air game.

Despite standing at 6’2, he only managed 59.79% of his aerial duels last season – worse than Victor Lindelof at United.

In fact, it’s even worse than Sevilla defender Jules Kounde in the same division who is five inches shorter than Torres.

This just shows that growth isn’t “all-all” when we are fighting for the heads, and in Part Two we look at another goal that shows just that.

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