Spanish striker Ferran was Barca’s big winter bet and, after a rocky start, he kicked into high gear ahead of ElClasico.
Ferran Torres knew it wouldn’t be all easy at FC Barcelona, arriving from Manchester City as a €55m winter window reinforcement to help revive a disappointing season, but he’s now hitting his best form and helping his club to find theirs. . With a brace against CA Osasuna in a 4-0 victory on Sunday, Ferran has scored three La Liga Santander goals in his last two games and appears in excellent condition after an injury layoff of nearly three months before his back to Spain.
Languishing ninth in LaLiga Santander when Xavi was named in November, and swiftly ousted from the Champions League, the new Barca the manager was struggling to get the club’s season back on track, and he targeted Ferran to do just that. “You are very young but you are a reference and I am sure you will bring a lot of success,” FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta told Ferran, who turned 22 in February, during his presentation at Camp No.
Xavi wanted to revitalize his attacking options and with Ferran came Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Adama Traore, all three signed from the Premier League. The difference between Ferran and the others, as well as Barca‘s summer signings is that the club have made a significant transfer investment in the Spanish winger. It was a great demonstration of faith in his quality and his potential.
This perhaps explains the pressure Ferran felt after a difficult night in the Europa League against SSC Napoli on February 17. Although the striker coolly netted a penalty in the 1-1 draw at Camp Nou, he missed a series of chances in the game and left. the field in tears. “It happened to [Luis] Suárez too,” Xavi said, defending the striker by comparing him to the Barca legend and current striker of Atlético de Madrid. “In the first few months, he didn’t score any goals. the Barca shirt weighs a few pounds more. Ferran Torres must know that he has our absolute confidence. The ball will go in for sure.
For the coach, the important thing was that Ferran was able to design space and take shots from dangerous areas. Since his arrival, no other player at the club has a higher xG every 90 minutes. Trust in the system has been the basis of Xavi’s reign so far, which has seen FC Barcelona climb to third as they won the second leg away to Napoli to reach the Europa League knockout stages .
With each passing game, the Catalans are playing better football, as CA Osasuna found at Camp Nou on Sunday, with Ferran in much cleaner finishing form. The striker converted from the penalty spot after Gavi was fouled by Nacho Vidal and then finished brilliantly after being found by the rampaging Ousmane Dembélé, with whom he struck up a solid relationship.
Ferran is also on the same page as Aubameyang, and the two often switch positions on the pitch, taking turns to play in the center or wider on the left – none of the positions Ferran was used to until recently. At Valencia CF he operated as a right winger but worked with former Barca Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, a LaLiga Santander legend in his own right, to play the false nine. “I learned so much, he’s one of the best coaches in the world,” the Catalan’s Ferran said on his Barca presentation.
Xavi uses it on the left and it pays dividends, with Ferran also scoring from that side of the pitch with a brilliant curling effort against Athletic Club in the Copa del Rey. He also scored against Elche in LaLiga Santander from the bench. “When you have chances, they come in eventually,” said Ferran after his brace against CA Osasuna. “When you miss opportunities, you work harder.”
After FC Barcelona’s Europa League game on Thursday, they will face Real Madrid in Sunday’s ElClasico at the Santiago Bernabéu, which is Ferran’s next challenge. “They are at a great level, but so are we,” he warned Barca‘s eternal rivals and current leaders of LaLiga Santander ahead of the tantalizing showdown in the Spanish capital.