(Remote) Scouting Time: Ferran Torres
Unquestionably one of the finest prospects in European football, it’s understandable why Ferran Torres is attracting interest from so many prestigious clubs. Having come through the Valencia academy that he joined aged six and made his full debut back in 2017, Torres’ rise has been remarkable. Handed his bow by then manager Marcelino against Real Zaragoza in the Copa del Rey, he’s continued along on a solid upward trajectory.
For the man who became the first player born in the 2000s to play in La Liga and youngest Valencia player to reach 50 league appearances, it’s been impressive how he’s adapted to life in the professional game. Since his first footsteps, Marcelino carefully integrated the talent into his plans, as he played 16 times in his first senior season before racking up 37 matches in his second (with 19 coming off the bench).
The aforementioned crusades gave Ferran Torres a wonderful platform to take his game to the next level this season, for he’s produced some brilliant displays both domestically and in the Champions League during his 35 appearances. Even though Marcelino unfortunately departed, Torres has kept up his form under Albert Celades, for he’s arguably been Valencia’s best player in their up and down season so far.
A quicksilver winger with so many of the desired attributes of a player in his position, his efforts have meant the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United are reportedly keen on acquiring his services.
Blessed with searing pace, this is a crucial component towards him being such a huge threat with his runs in behind and into the box. Capable of stretching opposition defenses both horizontally and vertically, he certainly adds another dimension to Valencia going forward. The fact he calculates, times and angles his runs so astutely enhances his menace, for he’ll exploit the blindside of markers, the space between defenders and when an opponent is preoccupied or ball watching.
When it comes to gaining separation inside the box, he’s pretty handy here too. Quick to pick up where his fellow attackers are, where the defenders are and where space is, Torres tailors his runs accordingly to supply a quality option. Indeed, his out-to-in diagonal runs have been a real feature due to him attacking the blindside to gain a dynamic advantage over his more stationary opponents. These runs will typically be seen when the ball is on the far side, where he ventures centrally to be a target while giving Valencia an extra option in the box.
Beating his man smartly with some sharp double movements, zig zags or when holding his runs at the edge of the box as the defence collapses deep, Torres is undoubtedly a tricky customer to keep tabs on.
Starting runs when the ball is on the preferred foot of the man in possession and reading ball flight adds to his danger, thus increasing his capacity to be in good goal scoring positions.
The above accompanies his ever-improving finishing beautifully. Already at a high level here, aside from scoring some sublime lobs, searing volleys and long-range strikes, he’s applied some neat finishes inside the area with clarity too. Crucially able to use both feet when shooting, this punctuates his value, thus maximising the areas and angles he can shoot from.
Parlaying power, pace and skill, Torres is an outstanding dribbler, who can outfox opponents using his athleticism or class on the ball. Once he’s got the ball under control using his sharp first touch, there are so many ways he can beat his man. Be it through using shoulder drops, feints, shimmies, his close control or knocking the ball beyond his man and latching onto it first using his speed, he’s certainly a slippery foe.
Boasting the prowess to weave his way out of danger in close quarters or adding directness with his running power, the way he orients his touch towards space or away from his markers gives him some vital extra time and separation to execute his actions. It’s therefore unsurprising to see him beat multiple trackers or draw fouls in promising areas, which lures out adversaries and unsettles backlines.
A player with a keen eye for a pass, the Spain youth international’s creativity is another encouraging string to his bow. Adept at pinpointing runners in the box with his measured crosses and cutbacks, he’s given his attackers good service. Accurate and hitting his deliveries into the box firmly, the fact his crossing accuracy is at a solid 34.8% depicts his worth.
By striking line-breaking passes infield, incisive through balls over the top, unleashing switches of play and combining intricately in high-pressure areas, this has offered additional upside.
Able to both score and create goals, with him bagging six goals and seven assists this campaign, this type of contribution is crucial for a modern wide player.
One man who knows the Spanish sensation extremely well is Valencia’s academy Director of Recruitment, Jose Gimenez, whose comments give a great insight into the gifted Torres. “He’s powerful, quick, steady with the ball at his feet and strong in the air. He’s unpredictable. When he’s running with the ball at his feet he can go on inside or outside his man because he is two-footed. He can cross, finish and shoot,” he gleamed.
By the numbers, his 2.84 dribbles per game, 2.25 progressive runs pg, 3.08 touches inside the box pg, 1.23 shot assists pg, 1.85 shots pg, 1.42 fouls suffered pg and 3.72 passes into the final third pg demonstrates his varied threat.
While the 20-year-old definitely looks ready to make the leap up to a bigger club, he’ll need to choose wisely, for he’ll want to ensure he moves to a team where he’ll continue to improve and gain pivotal minutes. Something that’s easier said than done.
The other option would be to stay put and hone his craft in the familiar confines of the Mestalla, which would seem the best option given the current climate. Whatever the future holds for the enormous talent, all the signs suggest he’s destined for a long and fruitful career at the top of the sport.
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