Villarreal v Man Utd: Gdansk ready for Europa League final
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Manchester United have been linked with a move for Pau Torres in the summer transfer window – and the Villarreal defender has outlined how he could solve two problem positions for the Premier League giants. Torres and his team-mates will face Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side in Wednesday’s Europa League final.
United have a chance to lift their first trophy under Solskjaer when they face The Yellow Submarine, who will target a place in next season’s Champions League as they play in a European final for the first time.
After Wednesday’s game, the Red Devils’ focus will turn to strengthening ahead of next season – and they have been linked with a move for the highly-rated Torres as Solskjaer seeks a long-term centre-back partner for Harry Maguire.
The left-footer has impressed for his hometown team, winning plenty of admirers with his pace, awareness and anticipation, and was this week named as one of Spain’s centre-half options for next month’s Euro 2020 finals.
But Torres has revealed that he can play another position which could help solve a problem for United.
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“In my first years in football I played as a defensive midfielder,” he said in an interview with Spanish football expert Guillem Balague.
Asked him if he could still play the position, Torres said: “Well, that would depend on who I would be up against.”
And while his reply was modest, his versatility could prove useful if United do make a move for him this summer.
United’s holding midfield ranks need reinforcement, with Solskjaer’s use of Scott McTominay and Fred as a double pivot having come in for criticism with some fans complaining that the manager is playing two players in one position.
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Were Torres to sign, he could double as both a defensive partner for Maguire and an extra option in the engine room.
And as well as offering the pace United need alongside their skipper, he could help provide balance in the centre of defence, as he plays with the opposite foot to Maguire.
And he admitted he likes to team up with a right-footed partner to keep strikers quiet.
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“It’s true that as a centre-back, there are many coaches who like to play with centre-backs of each profile,” he told Balague, who asked him if he enjoyed playing alongside a right-footer.
“Yes, I like it. I started to like it when we used to get under the skin of the strikers we played against with another center-back who was a good friend of mine. We had fun like this.”
United will get a chance to see Torres at close quartes in Wednesday’s final, which starts at 8pm.
Guillem Balague is a European football specialist and host for the Pure Football podcast.
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