Unai Emery’s Aston Villa may well be on the cusp of a period of real growth in England’s second city under the Spanish tactician after the Villains have embarked on a fantastic run of form since the former Arsenal manager arrived at Villa Park, with an outside shot at European football still on the cards.
Even more surprising has been the club’s brilliant work to secure former Barcelona sporting director Mateu Alemany as part of the growing setup at the club, which could now be set to immediately pay dividends after reports link the club to a possible summer move for Spanish international forward Ferran Torres.
With the potential of Europa League football next season and a general increase in the level of player profile sure to be demanded by both Emery and Alemany, Torres - still 23 - would offer an exciting player profile for a club in Villa that must navigate the market expertly if they are to remain on course to reach a level not seen in those parts since the early days of the Premier League.
Torres, who emerged from Valencia’s academy setup as a potential star in the making, failed to truly cement his name on the teamsheet with Manchester City under Pep Guardiola during his first stint on English shores. Though Barcelona boss Xavi Hernández was an advocate during his move to Catalonia last season, Torres has plummeted down the pecking order at the Spotify Camp Nou and is likely to look for fresh hunting grounds come the summer.
At current, Villa can boast just Leon Bailey, Philippe Coutinho, Emi Buendía, and Bertrand Traoré as their wide options across the senior squad, with Coutinho and Traoré struggling to make a real impact in the side since Emery’s arrival.
Currently valued at €30m, Torress could be one of a number of key summer signings championed by Emery and Alemany with a view of ramping up the team’s capability of sustaining their challenge for the periphery of the European places under a manager who has an impressive track record of success at clubs of similar standing.