From making his senior debut for Spain to netting his first goal, Ferran Torres has had an eventful five-days in the week leading up to the start of the 2020/21 Premier League season.
The 20-year-old was signed on a five-year contract by Manchester City from Valencia for a fee of £20.8m in early August, becoming Pep Guardiola’s first piece of business in the transfer window.
After Leroy Sane’s departure to Bayern Munich in July, it seems that Torres is Pep’s idea of a direct replacement for the German winger who was absent from the majority of Man City’s Premier League campaign due to a knee injury.
Adding his first senior international minutes to his belt, Torres’ recent performances for Spain have offered glimpses into exactly why Guardiola has selected him as Sane’s successor.
The former Valencia man joined his new City teammates Rodri and Eric Garcia in the Spanish squad for the start of the UEFA Nations League with matches against Germany and Ukraine, playing 106 minutes over the two games.
Here’s a breakdown of his international performances:
A 1-1 draw against Germany might seem like an insignificant result but for Torres it will be remembered as his first senior international start.
Playing all 90+7 minutes, the young Spaniard has clearly impressed Spain boss Luis Enrique and started on the left-wing before switching to the right early in the second half.
On the opposite side of the pitch was Leroy Sane, presenting a direct comparison for Man City fans of what their attacking line-up stood to lose from Sane’s departure but also what it had to gain from the arrival of Torres.
On this occasion Sane was undoubtedly the more dangerous of the two with piercing runs and clever through-balls through the Spanish defence but he would not have been afforded the same freedom if it wasn’t for Germany’s counter-attacking approach.
Yet Torres was somehow more influential in the goal-scoring activities and was vital in the build-up to Spain’s late equaliser.
With plenty of space on the right-wing, Torres received the ball at the German goal line and whipped a cross into the path of Rodrigo who nodded it down into the feet of Jose Luis Gaya for a tap in.
And this wasn’t the only goal Torres was involved in. Earlier in the match, Ansu Fati directed Torres’ carefully picked-out cross into the German net with a header only for it to be disallowed for Sergio Ramos’ clumsy foul on Niklas Sule.
Despite the goal not standing, Torres’ performance certainly showcased one of his main strengths: crossing.
In fact, in the post-match press conference, Enrique praised City’s new signing for being a constant danger to the German defence and as one of LaLiga’s best crossers.
There was more evidence suggesting Torres would have no problem in filling Sane’s boots. Like the German, Pep’s new recruit has no fear of running against the opposition’s defence.
The pacey 20-year-old Spaniard sold Robin Gosens for dead on the right-wing after previously being fouled just outside the box when darting through Germany’s backline.
Torres started on the bench but came on for Gerard Moreno in the 74th minute.
Pushing Fati into the No.9 position, Torres assumed his role on the left - a position he evidently feels more comfortable taking on opposition players.
With only 20 minutes left on the clock, Torres was still able to make an impact. Closing down players and dribbling straight through Ukraine’s defence, he showed his desire to retain the ball whilst also initiating attacking plays, invading Andriy Shevchenko’s side’s defensive line.
City fans will be relieved to know, on top of his crossing and dribbling, the Spaniard can also score.
A failed clearance by Serhiy Kryvtsov in the 84th minute fell kindly to Torres who volleyed it into the bottom corner of the Ukraine goal, earning him his senior first international goal, sealing Spain’s 4-0 win and pushing his side to top of League A Group 4.
Future at City
With the Premier League season fast-approaching Ferran Torres will want to kick off his City career much like his senior international one.
Blues’ fans should certainly be excited by the prospect of the fast-paced Spaniard who can both fly down the wings and whip in a good cross.