When Ferran Torres first signed for FC Barcelona in January, it was seen as a major coup. The player was the ideal fit on their right wing position, offering a balance of height, technique, and goals. However, the Spaniard has struggled to make his mark at the club since arriving, scoring a paltry four goals in the league. His performance in the UEFA Europa League, too, was derided; FCB crashed out to Eintracht Frankfurt, and Torres missed a boatload of chances against the Germans and against Napoli in the previous round.
However, despite struggling for form in the club game, Torres was still producing for Spain at times. An impressive strike rate of around one-in-two for La Roja naturally caught the attention of many. Unfortunately, though, his poor club form has now bled into the national team. His shocking performance in a 1-1 draw with Portugal in the UEFA Nations League brought a lot of abuse from the media and the stands.
Never one to stand back and let a player take flak, though, head coach Luis Enrique has come to his defence. The Spaniard has bit back at suggestions that Torres should not be picked. Having already come through people telling him not to pick Alvaro Morata – who scored in the draw – Enrique has given the fan and media criticism short shrift.
When asked about what he thought of the abuse Torres was taking, Enrique was quick to tell the press where to go.
What did Luis Enrique say about Ferran Torres?
Never one to waste too much time with the press, Enrique was quick to dismiss the notion that Torres was a poor fit in the side. On that note, he added: “I’m not worried about Ferran’s performances…. a top player, with good and bad days, like everyone else.”
Enrique is one of the best coaches in the world, and part of that quality stems from his combative nature. As a player and coach, he was one to cup the ear to the fans and tell the press what he didn’t like. Enrique is a fiery character, and he choose the players that he calls up very carefully. Therefore, those he does pick are players he has naturally lots of time for.
Therefore, he is quick to bite back and tell people where to go if they insult his players. His response on Torres was more measured than it could have been, too. However, it is fair to say that, if he cannot return to form, even Enrique will eventually lose patience with Torres.
A poor 2022 has also seen the return to form of various other Spanish players. Throw in the form of Ansu Fati, who is expected to star for Barcelona upon his return, and it is easy to see why some are worried about what happens next with Torres.
Seen as a bargain signing in January for around €50m, his form so far has not lived up to expectation. If that does not change – and quick – it could become quite an issue for the club and player alike.