Defender Pau Torres is leaving Villarreal this summer to sign for Premier League side Aston Villa for €32.5 million. He had previously been linked with the likes of Bayern Munich and Tottenham Hotspur. Torres joins a talented group of defenders at Aston Villa, including English international Tyrone Mings and former Sevilla center back Diego Carlos.
Aston Villa qualified for the Europa Conference League after finishing 7th in the Premier League last season, thanks to manager Unai Emery. The Spaniard took over the struggling club midway through the season but completely changed their fortunes, losing just six of their next 25 Premier League games.
Emery previously coached Torres at Villarreal, where they won Europa League against Manchester United on penalties — Torres was one of eleven Villarreal players to convert his. As a result, they earned the right to play in the Champions League in the 2021/22 season, recording memorable victories over Bayern Munich and Juventus before falling to Liverpool in the semifinals.
Torres made 173 appearances for the Yellow Submarine, with 105 of those coming under Unai Emery. During that time he also became a regular for the Spanish national team, making appearances in Euro 2020 and the World Cup, and was selected for the Spanish Olympic team that won silver in Japan.
Torres, a left-footed center back, excels at playing the ball from the back. Last season he was top ten in La Liga with progressive passes (197) and passes into the final third (187), per fbref.com. No defender completed more passes than Torres, either, with 1,855.
The 6’3″ center back is the club’s second signing of the summer, alongside Belgian midfielder Youri Tielemans. Torres will wear the number 14 with Aston Villa.