By James Murray

3rd Sep, 2023 | 2:54pm

Pau Torres continues average start to life at Aston Villa in first half v Liverpool

Pau Torres continued his average start to life with Aston Villa in the first half against Liverpool on Sunday (3 September).

The Spanish international started on the left-hand side of a back-three alongside Diego Carlos and Ezri Konsa for the game at Anfield.

But they had the worst possible start to the fixture, as midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai opened the scoring for the Reds on three minutes before Matt Cash put through his own net on 22 minutes.

Torres arrived at Villa Park in the summer for £33million from Villarreal in a deal that could eventually rise to as much as £38million if certain clauses are met.

The 26-year-old came in with a big reputation, having been linked with a number of Europe’s biggest clubs over the past few years following his form for the Yellow Submarines.

But his former boss Unai Emery persuaded him to make the move to Villa this summer as they look to build upon a successful campaign last season.

It hasn’t been plain sailing for the Spaniard so far, though, as they have now shipped eight goals in their opening four Premier League matches after going 2-0 down to Liverpool in the first half.

While that hasn’t stopped them from winning two of those fixtures, it’s not exactly the start Emery would’ve hoped for after splashing the cash to bring in a player of Torres’ quality to shore things up at the back.

The defender has so far only kept one clean sheet in the Premier League despite Emiliano Martinez recording 13 shutouts in 38 league games last season.

The centre-back has failed to make a single successful tackle in the first half at Anfield, while he also didn’t make a block or a clearance as his side went in behind at the break [SofaScore].

He also won just one of three attempted duels on the ground and lost possession on six occasions to make it difficult for his side to build attacks.

Torres attempted three dribbles in the opening 45 minutes and was only successful once, while his pass success rate was just 76 per cent despite him being known for his ability on the ball.

It’s still early days for the defender at Villa, but there is no doubt that more will be expected of him moving forward.

In other Aston Villa news, one player has had a recent upturn in form at the club.