Pau Torres has completed his £33m move to Aston Villa from Villareal. The initial cost of the transfer for Torres from head coach Unai Emery’s old team will be £33 million, which ranks second in Villa’s history only behind the £38 million spent for Emiliano Buendia from Norwich in 2021. The center-back, whose current contract has one year left, made 39 appearances for Villarreal last season and was a member of the Spain team that advanced to the round of 16 at the Qatar 2022 World Cup. Torres had a €70 million (£60.4 million) release clause, but it’s believed Villa negotiated conditions to their liking, paying over a longer period of time, so their first payment is less than that sum.
Since his return to the Premier League, Pau Torres has caught the attention of Aston Villa head coach Unai Emery, who thinks the defender can elevate the team and help them secure their place in the European football league. Torres spent 21 years as a Villarreal player, progressing through the club’s academy before making his way into the starting lineup and playing a key role in the team that won the Europa League under Emery in 2021. On August 12, Aston Villa’s 2023–24 Premier League campaign will get underway with a Saturday Night Football game away to Newcastle.
In their first four games of the domestic season, Unai Emery’s team, who will compete in the Europa Conference League play-offs in August, will travel three times. On August 19, they play host to Everton at Villa Park. Then, on August 26 and September 2, they visit Burnley and Liverpool. In a busy December, there are seven Premier League games scheduled, including home games against the top two teams from the previous campaign. On December 5, Villa welcomes Manchester City, and four days later, on December 9, Arsenal. On Boxing Day, they travel to Old Trafford to play Manchester United before concluding 2023 at home against Burnley on December 30.
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