Manchester City have finally completed the signing of Ferrán Torres from Valencia. The twenty-year old winger signed a five-year contract and arrives for an initial fee of around twenty-one million pounds.
As it is the human condition to understand something new to us by means of comparison, talk of Ferrán being a Leroy Sané replacement was soon filling social media.
While they are both young and start on the wing for their respective teams, we should first establish how similar the pair are.
Manchester City sign Ferrán Torres: Torres vs Sané
We can see immediately that in Sané’s last full season prior to his ACL injury, his numbers absolutely eclipse those of Ferrán Torres. Perhaps the comparison is unfair though.
Leroy Sané was three years older than Torres was last season when he achieved these numbers. For young players, this can make a huge difference for their end-product.
Also, Leroy Sané was playing for one of the most potent attacking sides in Premier League history. While Ferrán was playing for a Valencia side struggling in mid-table in La Liga.
Manchester City sign Ferrán Torres: Torres vs Mahrez
Perhaps a comparison with Riyad Mahrez would be more apt? At the time Mahrez was signed, his Leicester side were also sitting ninth in the table. They actually had even fewer points than Ferrán’s Valencia did this season too. They also both start on the right-wing the majority of the time.
We can see immediately a lot more similarity in the numbers here. Almost identical in terms of the volume of chances created and assists per 90 minutes played. They also have an almost identical xGChain.
Looking at the big chances he has created, we can see that two are from through balls and one is from a chipped pass. It is very encouraging that at a young age he has this vision and is making use of it at the highest level. This will also align nicely with the type of football Guardiola will expect from the young old winger.
Manchester City sign Ferrán Torres: Finishing Analysis
The main area of difference between the two is in shot volume and, by extension, the number of goals they are scoring. Riyad Mahrez has an absolute wand of a left foot and at the time he was signed by Manchester City, ranked as the most efficient long-range shooter in the Premier League alongside Xheridan Shaqiri.
We can see above, Torres isn’t taking a high volume of shot; around one per match. Also, he doesn’t look that capable a finisher, converting just one of his five big chances. That said, five is far too small a sample size to make any conclusive judgement there.
Manchester City sign Ferrán Torres: What Does he do for Valencia
Looking at the Valencia team from which he is departing, we can see he is one of the players most involved in the finishing phase for the Spanish side. Only Rodrigo, Cheryshev, and Gameiro are involved in more shots either as the creator or shot taker than Ferrán.
We can also see that he has very limited involvement in the build-up of shots for which he isn’t either the shot taker or creator. In fact, his xGBuild value is similar to their goalkeeper, Juame, as well as both starting center-backs.
Manchester City sign Ferrán Torres: Is he a Star in La Liga?
When we look at all midfielders and attackers in La Liga in terms of shot involvement versus their involvement in the xG value of their team’s attacks, he appears somewhere in the middle of the pack.
Again, this isn’t that unusual for such a young player. In fact, it is very normal for players to discover their end product around the age of twenty-three or twenty-four. And, we also must say, there are some that just never do. Those that promise a lot but never quite evolve into someone who delivers consistently at the highest level.
What it does tell us though, is that Torres is not capable of delivering the end product yet that the likes of Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez and Leroy Sané have consistently for Manchester City. That he may need some time and patience to develop that side of his game.
Manchester City sign Ferrán Torres: The eye test
The finally question for any piece of analysis is ‘Does this pass the eye test?’.
“He is quick, direct, can create space with one movement, and is capable of producing match-winning moments.”– Manchester City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain
This video does a nice job of highlighting everything Txiki mentions about Ferrán’s game. He is excellent in small spaces, can keep and progress the ball even when it looks impossible to do so. Skills that will no doubt come in handy against the low-blocks we will be asked to unpick at the Etihad.
The concern remains what will happen if he is unable to put his game together right away at Man City. Will he be afforded a couple of seasons to discover his end-product or would he be replaced for someone who can do so immediately?
To read our analysis of Leroy Sané, click here.
A glossary of all the terms used in this article and throughout the site as a whole is available here. Also, click on any image in the article for a full-size high definition version.
All data used in our articles is sourced from Understat, FBRef, Sofascore, Transfermarkt and 538.