Manchester United prefer to sign Villarreal ace Pau Torres over Ajax star Lisandro Martinez
According to 90min on Talking Transfers on Apple Podcasts (h/t The Express), Manchester United have a preference to sign Villarreal ace Pau Torres over Ajax star Lisandro Martinez this summer. They are looking into the market for defensive additions after shipping in a staggering 57 goals in the previous Premier League season.
Erik ten Hag is intent on bolstering his ranks in the summer transfer window, with the backline falling into this category. Torres, Martinez and Jurrien Timber are some of the centre-backs who have been linked with moves to Old Trafford ahead of the upcoming campaign.
However, it is claimed that Man United have made up their mind to target Torres instead of Martinez at this moment. That is a bit of a surprise, to say the least, considering how the latter was a former player of ten Hag during their time together in Amsterdam.
Is Torres the right choice?
There is no doubt that Torres and Martinez are two of the best left-footed central defenders in world football right now. Signing any of them would be an upgrade on our current options as the likes of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof have underperformed quite a lot in the past year or so.
As such, signing at least one of Torres or Martinez is very important to solve our defensive options looking at the sheer amount of goals we have conceded in the previous campaign. However, it is still a bit puzzling to see us targeting the former when ten Hag has experience working with the Argentine.
When comparing both players, Martinez leads Torres in aerial duels won, tackles, interceptions, pass success percentage, and dribbles per game which is important for a modern centre-back. The latter is better only in being more composed, clearances and blocks, but his competitor is right behind him even in those stats.
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Then again, La Liga can be considered a more difficult league compared to the Eredivisie, which could perhaps have inflated Martinez’s stats. Then again, the 24-year-old has performed similarly during the Champions League games and at the national level.
Hence, it would be best if we reconsider our stance on Torres this summer. The Spaniard is undoubtedly a great option indeed, as the 25-year-old played a major part in helping his club and country in their recent rise in form. However, that is not enough when comparing the two and their outputs right now.