Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has hailed the impact of Ferran Torres after the Catalans came back from a goal down to beat Elche 2-1.

Speaking to the media (h/t Barça Universal), Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has lavished praise on January signing Ferran Torres after the Spaniard scored in the Blaugrana’s 2-1 win over Elche on Sunday afternoon.

Despite dominating the first half and creating several chances, the Catalan giants went into the half-time break trailing by a goal thanks to Fidel Chaves’s strike. Xavi decided to shake things up at the restart and brought Torres on in place of Gavi, who had started on the left flank. And the former Manchester City star’s introduction added a greater threat in the final third.

The move ended up paying dividends at the hour mark when Torres got on the end of a Jordi Alba cross to equalise for Barcelona. Memphis Depay then dispatched a brilliant penalty later in the game to complete the turnaround and lead the team to an important victory. The result sees Barcelona move up to the third spot in the standings.

And, manager Xavi Hernandez spoke highly of Torres, who has come under some pressure for his poor finishing in recent matches. “Ferran gives us a lot. He generates a lot of danger and in the end the reward is the goal,” the 42-year-old tactician said.

Xavi also explained his reasoning behind taking Gavi off and introducing the former Valencia forward at the half-time break, saying, “Gavi was playing as a false winger. That’s not his natural position. The Gavi-Ferran substitution was tactical, but not because Gavi played badly in the first half, far from it.”

Torres joined the Blaugrana from Manchester City in the January transfer window in a deal worth an initial €55 million. He has made ten appearances for the club so far, already racking up three goals and assists apiece. 

That tally could have been bigger if not for Torres missing several good goalscoring opportunities in recent games, particularly in Barcelona’s UEFA Europa League knockout playoff tie against Napoli. But, in general, the 22-year-old has seemingly settled down well at Camp Nou and, with the manager backing his abilities, can grow into a vital player for the team in the years to come.

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