Pau Torres

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His aerial stats are much weaker than Lindelof's, in a league less noted for aerial prowess than the PL.
Stats don't mean much really. As the poster above mentioned, the challenge on Pogba would go down as a "lost" stat, but he actually effected the outcome of the game positively for them.

I'm much more of a fan of using the eye and using stats to confirm that, rather than the other way around.

His stature is noticeably more dominant, and I didn't see any signs of an aerial weakness at all. Perhaps he just puts himself into challenges that are unfavourable statistically, but help the team defend more?
People were saying the exact same thing about Lindelof over Smalling. Lindelof was supposed to bring that calmness and composure. Do you think our big weakness on set pieces and corners would be as bad if Smalling was playing?

Bailly isnt strong in the air so he really doesnt help in those situations anyway. But if its Lindelof Vs. Torres, Lindelof does a lot better than people might believe in the air most of the time. Its just every 10 or so he cocks it up completely and makes a mistake, which stands out for him because he is usually so far away from the action that he doesn't make a lot of mistakes most of the time
Whoever was saying that was clearly very wrong about Lindelof. While he might look less clumsy on the ball apart from the odd long pass he's nothing special in terms of passing.

He clearly has an issue when a striker is a similar size to him, he just doesn't seem to be strong or heavy enough to displace the attacker. I find it strange how he lets attackers dictate what they want to do, rather than him taking control. The West Brom goal is a perfect example of this, I know it should have been a foul in the end but letting the striker jump over him and get his head to the ball first was just unbelievable.

Torres looks big, Lindelof doesn't if that makes sense? I can see him and Maguire making a decent pairing if they gel well.
 

cyberman

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Stats do mean a lot though. We cant pretend he would solve our arial woes just because we like the look of the player.
We need a commanding presence beside Maguire and cut that massive defensive leak. Even if he isnt great passing out, the leak is so bad that it would be a net positive.
 

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Stats don't mean much really. As the poster above mentioned, the challenge on Pogba would go down as a "lost" stat, but he actually effected the outcome of the game positively for them.

I'm much more of a fan of using the eye and using stats to confirm that, rather than the other way around.

His stature is noticeably more dominant, and I didn't see any signs of an aerial weakness at all. Perhaps he just puts himself into challenges that are unfavourable statistically, but help the team defend more?

Whoever was saying that was clearly very wrong about Lindelof. While he might look less clumsy on the ball apart from the odd long pass he's nothing special in terms of passing.

He clearly has an issue when a striker is a similar size to him, he just doesn't seem to be strong or heavy enough to displace the attacker. I find it strange how he lets attackers dictate what they want to do, rather than him taking control. The West Brom goal is a perfect example of this, I know it should have been a foul in the end but letting the striker jump over him and get his head to the ball first was just unbelievable.

Torres looks big, Lindelof doesn't if that makes sense? I can see him and Maguire making a decent pairing if they gel well.
Well yes he looks big, he is big I'm just not sure that looking big translates to dealing with lots of balls into the box. It may or it may not, impossible to know unless he's tested but its a concern until then.

As for passing and on the ball, last night for example Lindelof was bringing the ball forward got on the ball a lot and didnt play worse passes than Pau Torres. I dont think theres going to be a big difference in that department
 

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Stats don't mean much really. As the poster above mentioned, the challenge on Pogba would go down as a "lost" stat, but he actually effected the outcome of the game positively for them.

I'm much more of a fan of using the eye and using stats to confirm that, rather than the other way around.

His stature is noticeably more dominant, and I didn't see any signs of an aerial weakness at all. Perhaps he just puts himself into challenges that are unfavourable statistically, but help the team defend more?

Whoever was saying that was clearly very wrong about Lindelof. While he might look less clumsy on the ball apart from the odd long pass he's nothing special in terms of passing.

He clearly has an issue when a striker is a similar size to him, he just doesn't seem to be strong or heavy enough to displace the attacker. I find it strange how he lets attackers dictate what they want to do, rather than him taking control. The West Brom goal is a perfect example of this, I know it should have been a foul in the end but letting the striker jump over him and get his head to the ball first was just unbelievable.

Torres looks big, Lindelof doesn't if that makes sense? I can see him and Maguire making a decent pairing if they gel well.
You mean, you'd like to just form an opinion based on whatever impressions you have, and then have that treated as a more important and valid fact than the players' actual record?

Torres won 60,6% of his aerial duels this season. Lindelof won 65,7% of his. And your argument is that despite this, Torres would be an upgrade in the air, because that's how it looked like to you in that game you watched yesterday?

As the poster above mentioned, the challenge on Pogba would go down as a "lost" stat, but he actually effected the outcome of the game positively for them.

As an argument against stats, this is of course completely ridiculous. The whole point of stats is that they show the picture that emerges when you look at a large sample, which, unlike individual situations, are not on the whole much affected by such things. Secondly, any other player, including Lindelof, could also do what Torres did in the case you mention - there is no reason to think stuff like this has a greater effect on Torres' aerial stats than those of other players.
 

golden_blunder

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Looked ok last night, calm and assured but whether he is a clear upgrade on a cb I dislike so much is debatable
 

pcaming

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The thing to remember is Villareal are a defensive team. The structure will be much different here and he'd be far more exposed, so it's hard to say if he would genuinely suit us.
 

andersj

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Do you think our big weakness on set pieces and corners would be as bad if Smalling was playing?
It was, so probably yes. It was also a big issue for Rome last year when Smalling played.

Furthermore, we would have other big issues with Smalling.
 

Ekeke

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It was, so probably yes. It was also a big issue for Rome last year when Smalling played.

Furthermore, we would have other big issues with Smalling.
Roma dont have Maguire and a team of giants. Its clear that with Smalling on top we'd be better on set pieces
 

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Stats do mean a lot though. We cant pretend he would solve our arial woes just because we like the look of the player.
We need a commanding presence beside Maguire and cut that massive defensive leak. Even if he isnt great passing out, the leak is so bad that it would be a net positive.
Stats do mean a lot.

But just posting the numbers of two different defenders as if the player with the higher number must be better at a given thing isn't a great use of stats and should be viewed through the lense of its limitations.

In terms of assessing a potential transfer accurately stats need to be contextualised in a way that (in fairness) is beyond the posters posting them here. You'd have to take into account and weigh the effect of the players they're surrounded by, their team's style of play, the league the play in, the tactics opponents tend to employ against them and god knows how many other factors. Plus even if someone does have a weakness/strength statistically, there can be varying reasons for that, some more addressable than others and some which will apply in your team's set up more than others. And whatever insights gleemed from that analysis need to be supportable by actual examples.

All of which is why that sort of analysis is something that requires professionals to put time and effort into doing for clubs, rather than just pulling up easily accessible numbers as if they're proof in and of themselves. From our POV as football fans, stats are interesting and can raise questions about players but they really shouldn't be treated as if they provide definitive answers or insight, because we don't really have the capacity to use them in that way.
 

justsomebloke

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If it's aerial strength we're looking for, Varane is really the only one among the frequently mentioned targets who win aerial duels at more or less the same outstanding rate as Maguire. And Milenkovic, if you consider him good enough. Most of them actually have worse aerial stats than Lindelof (who also is considerably better than Bailly).

What looks like the most reasonable conclusion to me is that winning aerial duels isn't actually that much of a problem with our current pairing, that there are other attributes that should be emphasised and that we'll be fine if we can get someone who's not a significant downgrade on Lindelof in the air.
 

andersj

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Roma dont have Maguire and a team of giants. Its clear that with Smalling on top we'd be better on set pieces
Do Arsenal? Because they are probably the best team in PL defending set pieces. Or how about Villarreal yesterday (again, probably the best team in La Liga).

We have plenty of players who are good in the air. That is not the issue for us on set pieces. Its rather how we organize and probably quite a bit of attitude.

The problem is not in what you can easily measure (height, win percantage etc), but rather how we organize.
 

Pickle85

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Stats do mean a lot.

But just posting the numbers of two different defenders as if the player with the higher number must be better at a given thing isn't a great use of stats and should be viewed through the lense of its limitations.

In terms of assessing a potential transfer accurately stats need to be contextualised in a way that (in fairness) is beyond the posters posting them here. You'd have to take into account and weigh the effect of the players they're surrounded by, their team's style of play, the league the play in, the tactics opponents tend to employ against them and god knows how many other factors. Plus even if someone does have a weakness/strength statistically, there can be varying reasons for that, some more addressable than others and some which will apply in your team's set up more than others. And whatever insights gleemed from that analysis need to be supportable by actual examples.

All of which is why that sort of analysis is something that requires professionals to put time and effort into doing for clubs, rather than just pulling up easily accessible numbers as if they're proof in and of themselves. From our POV as football fans, stats are interesting and can raise questions about players but they really shouldn't be treated as if they provide definitive answers or insight, because we don't really have the capacity to use them in that way.
Spot on - should be required reading for all footie fans.
 

justsomebloke

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Stats do mean a lot.

But just posting the numbers of two different defenders as if the player with the higher number must be better at a given thing isn't a great use of stats and should be viewed through the lense of its limitations.

In terms of assessing a potential transfer accurately stats need to be contextualised in a way that (in fairness) is beyond the posters posting them here. You'd have to take into account and weigh the effect of the players they're surrounded by, their team's style of play, the league the play in, the tactics opponents tend to employ against them and god knows how many other factors. Plus even if someone does have a weakness/strength statistically, there can be varying reasons for that, some more addressable than others and some which will apply in your team's set up more than others. And whatever insights gleemed from that analysis need to be supportable by actual examples.

All of which is why that sort of analysis is something that requires professionals to put time and effort into doing for clubs, rather than just pulling up easily accessible numbers as if they're proof in and of themselves. From our POV as football fans, stats are interesting and can raise questions about players but they really shouldn't be treated as if they provide definitive answers or insight, because we don't really have the capacity to use them in that way.
I agree completely with this, and it is a timely and pertinent reminder. But I think it should be noted that at least it gives something that is more relevant as basis for comparison and discussion than a subjective impression, especially one formed by an average viewer on the basis of a single game. If player A wins 65% of his aerial duels and player B wins 55% of his, then it is surely reasonable to assume that there is a high likelihood that player B is not better than player A in the air? Even though it is always possible that a close analysis would provide a different explanation of the discrepancy than that.
 

andersj

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Stats do mean a lot.

But just posting the numbers of two different defenders as if the player with the higher number must be better at a given thing isn't a great use of stats and should be viewed through the lense of its limitations.

In terms of assessing a potential transfer accurately stats need to be contextualised in a way that (in fairness) is beyond the posters posting them here. You'd have to take into account and weigh the effect of the players they're surrounded by, their team's style of play, the league the play in, the tactics opponents tend to employ against them and god knows how many other factors. Plus even if someone does have a weakness/strength statistically, there can be varying reasons for that, some more addressable than others and some which will apply in your team's set up more than others. And whatever insights gleemed from that analysis need to be supportable by actual examples.

All of which is why that sort of analysis is something that requires professionals to put time and effort into doing for clubs, rather than just pulling up easily accessible numbers as if they're proof in and of themselves. From our POV as football fans, stats are interesting and can raise questions about players but they really shouldn't be treated as if they provide definitive answers or insight, because we don't really have the capacity to use them in that way.
Great post!
 

cyberman

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Stats do mean a lot.

But just posting the numbers of two different defenders as if the player with the higher number must be better at a given thing isn't a great use of stats and should be viewed through the lense of its limitations.

In terms of assessing a potential transfer accurately stats need to be contextualised in a way that (in fairness) is beyond the posters posting them here. You'd have to take into account and weigh the effect of the players they're surrounded by, their team's style of play, the league the play in, the tactics opponents tend to employ against them and god knows how many other factors. Plus even if someone does have a weakness/strength statistically, there can be varying reasons for that, some more addressable than others and some which will apply in your team's set up more than others. And whatever insights gleemed from that analysis need to be supportable by actual examples.

All of which is why that sort of analysis is something that requires professionals to put time and effort into doing for clubs, rather than just pulling up easily accessible numbers as if they're proof in and of themselves. From our POV as football fans, stats are interesting and can raise questions about players but they really shouldn't be treated as if they provide definitive answers or insight, because we don't really have the capacity to use them in that way.
But sometimes the obvious stats are just the truth. If anything they would face more direct balls due to their style of play and lack of quality. If Lindelof is winning more headers while facng less defensive situations then that should send out beaming warning signals.
We just cant take a risk on this one which seems to be why we are after Varane anyway.
 

sullydnl

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I agree completely with this, and it is a timely and pertinent reminder. But I think it should be noted that at least it gives something that is more relevant as basis for comparison and discussion than a subjective impression, especially one formed by an average viewer on the basis of a single game. If player A wins 65% of his aerial duels and player B wins 55% of his, then it is surely reasonable to assume that there is a high likelihood that player B is not better than player A in the air? Even though it is always possible that a close analysis would provide a different explanation of the discrepancy than that.
Yep, I think that's fair. It's entirely fine for people to bring up those stats as evidence that he has X weakness/strength compared to whatever player. And I would definitely give it more weight than a subjective impression based on one or a few games. It's just good to remember that they're a counterpoint to a subjective opinion rather than something that disproves it and not something that should be taken as gospel.

In the context of this thread, Pau Torres may have worse stats than Lindelof aerially and that's fair to bring up. But it also wouldn't be even remotely surprising if we signed him and he did improve us aerially despite those previous stats, as subjective opinion (or even just his extra physical height) might suggest he would. And if there was a Villareal fan here who watched him regularly then I'd probably be more interested in their subjective opinion than that statistical breakdown.
 

CM10

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Looked fairly run of the mill to me, but more importantly there's not much of a stylistic difference to what we already have in Lindelof.

If we sign a new CB they should be a clear upgrade on what we already have, or at the very least enable us to play in a different way. I don't see Pau Torres ticking either box.
 

jderbyshire

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I think it's clear Varane is our first choice, and then Konde, Torres and Botman are the alternatives.

£45-50m for Varane wouldn't be a bad move.
 

sullydnl

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Looked fairly run of the mill to me, but more importantly there's not much of a stylistic difference to what we already have in Lindelof.

If we sign a new CB they should be a clear upgrade on what we already have, or at the very least enable us to play in a different way. I don't see Pau Torres ticking either box.
It depends on what the club want really.

If Lindelof's style was an issue for them before then they could have opted for Smalling instead, who is a very different style of defender and arguably not much worse a defender if at all. So that would seem to me an indicator of stylistic preference.

It may well be that stylistic preference hasn't shifted at all, in which case a younger, taller, left-footed and more talented Lindelof-style player appeals to them. And there's no reason it wouldn't, because terming that type of player "Lindelof-style" really underplays how good they can be. If you want that type of defender, Torres looks a pretty damn promising option to me. I mean there's zero doubt he's going to get a move to a top side.

If they do want a different type of defender though then it definitely shouldn't be Torres. I suspect there may be a disconnect between the qualities the club prioritise and some fans would though.
 

Ralph1386

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He’s decent but I’m not sure how much of an upgrade he would be on what we already have.
 

GazTheLegend

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He's absolute class and was absolute class last night too. How can anyone think otherwise??? Brilliant performance. Big guy too, what is he like 6'4? I would sign him for sure at any price quoted, he's an upgrade on Lindelof and Bailly both.
 

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He's absolute class and was absolute class last night too. How can anyone think otherwise??? Brilliant performance. Big guy too, what is he like 6'4? I would sign him for sure at any price quoted, he's an upgrade on Lindelof and Bailly both.
He was ok but wouldn’t say he was “absolute class”. I thought he was poor for our goal and misplaced many passes.
Edit: stats confirmed. 76% succesful passes compared to his CB partner who had 93%.
 

Inigo Montoya

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He was ok but wouldn’t say he was “absolute class”. I thought he was poor for our goal and misplaced many passes.
Edit: stats confirmed. 76% succesful passes compared to his CB partner who had 93%.
He is not the quickest, and he and Maguire would need a speedy cover. If we had Bissouma or Rice with our FBs tracking it could work. I look at Brighton’s back line and it isn’t the quickest but boy do they work and show discipline
 

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It is hard to tell anything about his level based on yesterday`s game. In a game where he rarely has to leave the penalty box, many defenders would shine. This type of defending would be perfect for a player like Ben Mee and make him look like "absolut class".
 

izec

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It is hard to tell anything about his level based on yesterday`s game. In a game where he rarely has to leave the penalty box, many defenders would shine. This type of defending would be perfect for a player like Ben Mee and make him look like "absolut class".
I agree. We dont play many games like this, some top games we will park the bus, but most of the time the CBs will be isolated and much more on their own. Yesterday was easy for him, as they were packed in their own half for large parts of the game
 

bond19821982

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Serious question, have you watched much of him other than yesterday, or are you just guessing?
2 matches. One over the weekend against Real and this final.

Yeah, not exactly a review but that's what I felt after 210 mins.
 

Robbie Boy

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Serious question, have you watched much of him other than yesterday, or are you just guessing?
Tbf, there's only a very small handful on here who really watch most of the foreign leagues intently, and they give some brilliant feedback on players, managers, clubs etc.

The rest form their opinions off the games they watch and there's nothing wrong with that either.
 

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I think for immediate success UTD should go for Varane but in the long run, we might face a Rio-Vidic situation where the established paring leaves at the same time.
 

OrcaFat

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He's been found out in europe the past 2 seasons in the europa league. Someone slightly better might help us win the europa league again, it wont make us a threat for the premier league or champions league. Not even close
We should get the best players we can, of course. But we need players in several positions so we won’t get them all. A left foot CB who improves the first eleven would be a welcome addition.
 

croadyman

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I think it's clear Varane is our first choice, and then Konde, Torres and Botman are the alternatives.

£45-50m for Varane wouldn't be a bad move.
Hoping that the lack of talk of him in english press means that Varane is being worked on under the radar but doubt it
 
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Crustanoid

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I think we all what will happen

Press report we’ve signed Varane
Press conference held
‘Varane’ signs
At the end of the press conference he rips off his Varane mask and it was Phil Jones all along, signing a new 6 year deal
Camera pans to Woodward, laughing
 

RikRuud

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I liked Pau Torres' performance. Seemed to be in the way each time we got anywhere near their box. Not a bad trait to have a CB. I haven't seen that much of him. Considering Real Madrid were said to be pissed that we had been negotiating with him he must be a great prospect. Perhaps a more sensible option than Varane given his injury record.
 

justsomebloke

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Yep, I think that's fair. It's entirely fine for people to bring up those stats as evidence that he has X weakness/strength compared to whatever player. And I would definitely give it more weight than a subjective impression based on one or a few games. It's just good to remember that they're a counterpoint to a subjective opinion rather than something that disproves it and not something that should be taken as gospel.

In the context of this thread, Pau Torres may have worse stats than Lindelof aerially and that's fair to bring up. But it also wouldn't be even remotely surprising if we signed him and he did improve us aerially despite those previous stats, as subjective opinion (or even just his extra physical height) might suggest he would. And if there was a Villareal fan here who watched him regularly then I'd probably be more interested in their subjective opinion than that statistical breakdown.
Thanks for informing the discussion and helping me understand the limits of my own arguments, these are very good points. I've tried to look systematically at stats with the aim of understanding our transfer options a bit better (and more comparative) than just the vague adjectives you get from articles and other individual player coverage. I've put it on here not because I'm convinced I thereby have all the answers and aim to be proven right, but because I'm hoping for responses that will bring that further. So stuff like this is very useful.
 

Rocknrolla69er

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He actually moves his head and scans attacking threats around him which is something our defence are awful at, see Villareals goal.

Once he scans he organises his defensive teammates vocally, something our defence are awful at, see Villareals goal.

Looks much stronger than Lindelof, bigger physique I was suprised he looked huge in the pre match lineup. Looks like he won't get bullied off the ball like,Lindelof .

Looked a definate upgrade to me.
 
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