Pau Torres – partner or replacement for Sergio Ramos at Real Madrid?

Martin Macdonald
Martin Macdonald Updated: 19 May 2021 16:43 CEST 3 min read
Pau Torres – partner or replacement for Sergio Ramos at Real Madrid?

Real Madrid have identified Villarreal defender Pau Torres as a potential replacement for Sergio Ramos, should their club captain leave this summer on a free transfer.

Los Blancos and Ramos are yet to agree on a new, extended contract, with the length of the deal reportedly the stumbling block towards an agreement for the moment.

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  • Statistic19/2020/21
    Starts3317
    Goals22
    Tackles P900.70.5
    Duels Won P902.93.6
    Aerials Won P901.42.0
    Pass Completion P9086%89%
    La Liga only, via FootballCritic

    Whether or not Ramos stays, the club will target the acquisition of Torres to either partner the Madrid captain, or replace him this upcoming summer, according to Marca.

    Torres made his debut for Villarreal back in the 2017/18 season before moving on loan to Malaga for the duration of the 18/19 campaign in the Segunda Division.

    Since his return he has established himself as a starter for the Yellow Submarine, and is now one of their key players, having played every minute of action for his side in the 2020/21 season.

    Crucially, with regards to a potential Madrid move, he is now the first-choice partner for Ramos in the centre of Spain’s defence due to the injury suffered by Gerard Pique.

    Pau Torres: Snapshot

    Even though Madrid are relatively well-stocked in the central defensive position, with Raphael Varane a mainstay and Eder Militao and Nacho in reserve, neither of the latter two players have performed to a high enough standard that pressure is being put on Ramos and Varane to maintain their performances.

    As well as Ramos potentially leaving on a free transfer, there remains interest in Varane from the Premier League.

    Therefore, Madrid have prioritised the signing of a centre-back, probably in the summer.

    Torres currently has a £45m [€50m] release clause in his contract, but Real Madrid are hopeful of negotiating a lower fee as they enjoy a good business relationship with Villarreal, as highlighted by the current Takefusa Kubo deal which sees the young Japanese forward on loan at the Estadio de la Ceramica.

    The Spaniard is very much in the mould of a modern centre-back, who puts just as much importance on passing the ball out from the back as well as his actual defensive duties, as displayed by his pass completion rates above.

    In terms of defending, there are improvements that could certainly be made.

    Per 90 minutes, Torres wins around 61% of his duels which is the 10th best in La Liga for central defenders who played played at least 1,000 minutes so far this season.

    In terms of aerial duels, he doesn’t even make the top 10, winning just 61% of those, too.

    While Ramos has the second-best record for the amount of tackles won on average per match with 86%, Torres is down at 67%.

    This week, Ramos brother and agent slammed Real Madrid for their conduct with regards to their club captain.