It was a heartbreak for many Manchester City fans to see Leroy Sane leave the club. The German winger was one of Pep Guardiola’s first signings after taking over in 2016. He played a crucial role in City’s two Premier League title wins in 2018 and 2019. But the former Schalke man refused to renew his deal with the club, preferring instead to move to Bayern Munich. It was now a question of finding a suitable replacement that will fill the gap. Ferran Torres was the chosen one.
The young Spaniard starred for Valencia in La Liga and (having come through the club’s youth ranks) was expected to be a big part of the side in the years to come. But his talent caught Guardiola’s attention as the man to fill the void at the Etihad Stadium. Many wondered if at just 20 years old he was ready for the challenge of becoming a key man in arguably the best team in England. So far, he has not disappointed.
Although he has grabbed just an assist in five Premier League matches, three goals in as many Champions League outings show much promise. There are strong reasons to believe it’s going to be an impactful season for the Spaniard in a City shirt based on recent performances for both club and country.
The fact that Guardiola will prefer him in the starting line up against Liverpool in City’s last game before the international break is quite revealing. It shows how much the manager believes in his new signing with both Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva settling for a place on the bench. Before then, the Spanish international was also the manager’s preference to play up top in a few games with both Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus sidelined due to injury.
But Perhaps the biggest indication of what is to come was Torres’ performance for Spain during the international break. The 20-year-old was the star of the show as La Roja swept aside Germany with an emphatic 6-0 victory. He netted his first hat-trick for his country in the match, announcing himself as a man to watch in the years to come.
That could start in the Premier League this season. Having already gained the manager’s trust, he is likely to see much game time through the campaign. It should give him enough time to make a significant impact in both the league and on the continent. He has demonstrated a readiness to take on responsibility and be the centre of attention.
Choosing to take up David Silva’s jersey at the club also shows a player unafraid of taking on the pressure that will come with wearing the shirt. It speaks to the player’s mentality. Although he scored 4 goals and laid on five assists in 26 La Liga starts for Valencia last term, it was his breakout season. He is a much more improved player now and in a better team. Playing under arguably the best manager in the world also helps.
All in all, the stars have lined up nicely in Torres’ favour. And now all he has to do is give it his best shot. The signs are already there that this could be a big season for the Spanish winger, and by extension Manchester City.