Aston Villa’s Big Agreed Transfer Deal Sets up Intense Centre Back Competition

Aston Villa Reportedly Agree Pau Torres Deal

Aston Villa has reported finalised a deal with Villarreal to acquire the services of Pau Torres, a move that is expected to provide strong competition for the club’s existing centre-backs Tyrone Mings, Ezri Konsa, and Diego Carlos, while casting a big question mark over the Villa futures of Callum Chambers and Kortney Hause.

The 26-year-old Spanish international central defender has reached an agreement on personal terms for the transfer to Villa Park. This signing reunites Torres with his former coach Unai Emery, with whom he had previously worked at Villarreal.

While there was speculation doing the rounds about a large release clause of over 60 million Euros, it’s thought the fee Villa would end up paying is well south of that (reported as £35m by The Guardian). The deal is expected to be a five-year deal up to 2028.

Villarreal Glory Days

Torres made a name for himself impressing under Emery in Villareal’s Europa League glory in the 2020/21 season, when they beat Manchester United on penalties in Gdansk. Torres was indeed one of the players to convert in the marathon penalty shoot-out that Villarreal won 11-10, after the game ended 1-1. The centre-back was also selected by UEFA for the overall team of the competition.

Another solid season for Villarreal last season saw Torres help them qualify for the tournament again this forthcoming season.

The player who previously attracted interest from the likes of Spurs, Manchester United and Real Madrid was regarded to be very much on top of Emery’s shopping list.

Villa Beef up Squad

Ask most Villa supporters and they’d perhaps point out, that so far, along with the signing of Youri Tielemans, the club haven’t necessarily addressed the biggest needs of the transfer window. Villa right-hand side in both the full-back position and further up the pitch, have distinct room for improvement.

With European football now part of the equation though, it’s clear to see from the quality of both Torres and Tielemans, that Villa are looking at the bigger picture of levelling up the squad to make sure it is consistent across all competitions.

At 26-years-old, Torres still has room for improvement, as his performances with the national team have shown, both during the last Euros and being sidelined after Japan beat Spain in the World Cup.

Villa Centre Back Competition

It’s intriguing to see what will ultimately be Emery’s first choice back line, after how Mings and Konsa have both impressed under the Spaniard. The big question next season was if Diego Carlos was going to break back into the team, but now Torres adds a further massive question mark.

While very comfortable on the ball, you’d think Torres would benefit from the aerial dominance of Mings alongside him, considering it’s not his strongest attribute. Both players being predominately left-footers shouldn’t be an issue. After all, if you’re spending what Villa are spending on a centre-back you’d expect him to be able to play both sides of a centre-back partnership.

Emery could even be considering going with three at the back and would feel he has the calibre of player to pull that off. Certainly, Cash (or upgrade) and Moreno are a good fit for wing-backs. It’s certainly intriguing, if what you’d consider the top four Villa centre-backs now, all stick around for the season ahead.


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