Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has claimed he could convert Ferran Torres into a number nine.
With Sergio Aguero departing City at the end of the season, Guardiola is in need of a new attacking option.
The Spaniard has been widely tipped to enter the transfer market, with Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund one possible option, but Torres put forward a strong case with a hat-trick in the 4-3 win over Newcastle.
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His opening goal was an audacious flick after an excellent near-post run, but his second and third efforts were clinical efforts - with the former Valencia man showing the instincts of a striker.
Guardiola has been hugely impressed with the 21-year-old in his first season in the Premier League, and feels he has the potential to fill the striking void should the need arise.
“This evening he was important, but not just this evening,” Guardiola told Sky Sports. “This is his first season in England and his numbers are exceptional in terms of goals.
He came as a winger and I may have to think about playing him as a striker. When we had Sergio and Garbiel [Jesus] injured, he played as a striker and was always there.
“He has a sense of goal and I am very pleased.
“He can be a number nine. We used him this season and he was brilliant. His rhythm, especially offensively, has increased a lot.
Torres scored a hat-tirck for City
Image credit: Getty Images
“The movements he makes as a striker. The third goal for example, the shot hits the post and the ball is where he is. It is not left, not right, it is where he is.
“It is a sense of goal and strikers know it one second before the ball arrives. He has this talent and is a good finisher.”
Asked if Torres' potential as a forward would persuade him not to enter the transfer market, Guardiola added: “I don’t know what is going to happen. I said maybe we are going to buy a striker, maybe we don’t. But we have a young guy and we can use him left, right and as a striker.”
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In the week City were crowned Premier League champions, it was anything but a victory parade on Tyneside.
They were twice behind as Newcastle, freed from the worries of relegation, went toe-to-to with the champions.
Class ultimately told, and the win saw them set a new record. The victory was their 12th on the spin away from home in the league, and no other side has hit that figure since the formation of the Football League in 1888.
It was also City’s 23rd game on the road without defeat in all competitions, taking them past Notts County’s unbeaten run in 2012.
“It is good the fact we won 12 times in a row,” Guardiola said. “No side before could do it, so we are happy for that.
“It is what we have done, four years together. When people say you don't win the Champions League the team is a failure, or the players are a failure or the manager is a failure, football is consistent.
“The important is you win the Premier League. You have to celebrate, one day train and come here but the spirit was there.”
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