Aston Villa: Pau Torres sits out Spain win against Georgia, Unai Emery will be delighted
Aston Villa are currently suffering from a dreadful defensive injury crisis and Unai Emery will be delighted that Pau Torres did not play any part in Spain’s 7-1 win over Georgia on Friday (8 September).
The Villans have been hit with some key injuries in recent weeks, most notably to Tyrone Mings and Emiliano Buendia who both face extended spells on the treatment table and could potentially miss most of the campaign.
The 30-year-old England international was carried off on a stretcher during Villa’s 5-1 defeat at Newcastle on 12 August with what looked like a serious knee injury.
Brazilian defender Diego Carlos was also hit with an unfortunate injury after being withdrawn with just 19 minutes on the clock at Anfield in Villa’s 3-0 Premier League defeat to Liverpool on 3 September.
Carlos’ injury leaves Emery with just three fit centre-backs with Torres, summer signing Clement Lenglet who is yet to start since his move and seasoned Villa Park favourite Ezri Konsa.
With Villa facing off against Crystal Palace when the Premier League resumes after the international break on 16 September, Emery will be hoping and praying his key stars return in tip-top condition, not least former Villarreal defender Torres who has been somewhat thrown into the deep end following Mings’ injury blow.
After being picked for the latest Spain squad for the international break, Torres surprisingly sat out their comfortable 7-1 win over Georgia on Friday (8 September) and while the 26-year-old may be discouraged by the snub, Emery will be incredibly delighted his defender wasn’t risked.
No doubt about it, the former Villarreal man is an experienced European-quality-level defender, one certainly possessing the characteristics and mentality to thrive immediately at Villa Park, and he’s already a player Emery cannot do without.
Torres was a key player for Villarreal last season, making 39 appearances as the club finished fifth in La Liga to secure Europa League football. He, in total, made 173 appearances for his boyhood team, scoring 12 times, and played 23 times for Spain before making the move to England meaning he is very well capable of immediately replacing Tyrone Mings.
And his stats from last season prove as much, given the Spanish international knows Emery’s playing style to a tee. Torres averaged 4.1 clearances, 1.7 aerial wins and 1.3 tackles per game last season in La Liga [WhoScored] proving a real rock at the heart of Villarreal’s defence.
The 26-year-old ranked in the 99th percentile for progressive carries and the 97th percentile for successful take-ons, showcasing his incredible class and qualities when playing out of the back, or even possessing the ability to evade high pressure from onrushing attackers – stats which back-up option Clement Lenglet cannot compare [FBRef].
Emery trusts in his ability and it’s why Aston Villa shelled out £45m to sign him and right now, the Spanish coach will be hoping his counterparts choose not to start him again in their next international clash against Cyprus on Tuesday 12 September.
Aston Villa desperately needs Torres in the same condition he left Villa Park in.
In other Aston Villa news, a key player’s concerning form could force Emery into a big-money January transfer decision.