The report claims that the Reds are joined in the hunt for the 20-year-old by Juventus, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Manchester City, with the young Spaniard’s contract at the Mestalla containing a release clause of €100m (£91.64m). However, according to Corriere dello Sport [via Goal.com/it], Valencia may be willing to sell for much less than that amount, considering that his current deal expires next year.
Torres is not the only 20-year-old right winger from a major European league who has been linked with Liverpool – the Reds have been touted for a possible summer swoop for Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, as per the Daily Mail. However, James Pearce claimed in a piece for The Athletic [via @LFCTransferRoom on Twitter] that the England prodigy could cost as much as £120m.
Why might Liverpool be interested in Ferran Torres?
Torres was Spain’s hero in the final of last year’s European Under-19 Championship, scoring both goals in the 2-0 defeat of Portugal to secure the trophy for his nation. Despite only turning 20 at the end of last month, he has amassed 88 first team appearances for Valencia, starting 20 of their La Liga matches this season, as well as five Champions League games. The winger has six goals and seven assists to his name from 35 matches in the current campaign, averaging 0.17 goals and 0.2 assists per game.
His 79.6% passing success rate in La Liga is better than the 76.1% registered by Liverpool’s main right winger Mohamed Salah in the Premier League this term, while Torres’ average of 1.7 successful dribbles per game matches that of the Egyptian. However, Salah is a far more potent scorer (20 goals in the current campaign) and contributes more passes (28.5 to 20.4) and key passes per game (1.8 to 0.8) than the Valencia youngster.
Would Torres be a better transfer target for Liverpool than Sancho?
There is a reason why Sancho has a higher valuation than Torres – the Borussia Dortmund winger carries a far greater goal threat and outperforms the Spaniard for other attacking metrics as well. The England youngster has already chipped in with 17 goals and 19 assists in his 35 appearances for the Bundesliga club this season, averaging 0.49 goals and 0.54 assists per game.
Sancho’s passing success rate of 84.4% is also better than that of Torres and he averages an impressive 2.3 key passes per game in the German top flight. The Dortmund man has a match average of 51.3 passes, greater than the combined average of Salah and Torres.
The statistics clearly point in favour of the England winger as a transfer target for Liverpool’s right flank but, as Pearce has said, the Anfield hierarchy are reluctant to stump up the £120m that Dortmund reportedly want for him, believing the fee to be excessive. If the Reds are unwilling to part with enough cash to bring Sancho to Merseyside, they ought to consider Torres as a more economical alternative, albeit one with ample senior experience and, as he showed for Spain’s under-19s last year, an ability to come good on the big occasion.
Should Liverpool consider a move for Torres if they aren’t able to land Sancho? Would the Valencia man be a more realistic transfer target? Comment below with your views!