City can top Liverpool without Messi – Torres

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Manchester City have more than enough firepower to reclaim the Premier League title from Liverpool even without Lionel Messi, according to new signing Ferran Torres.

City might have had Messi in their sights during the offseason but the Argentina captain ultimately couldn’t force a move away from Barcelona.

Even without the six-time Ballon d’Or winner, Torres, a £20 million summer signing from Valencia, believes Pep Guardiola’s squad is strong enough to win the top trophies at home and abroad this season.

“I think we have a fantastic team beyond Messi,” said Torres. “We have a group of players ready to compete against any opponent and we are able to do great things in the Champions League.

“Liverpool are a really strong team and they have proved it in the last years. At the same time I think we have a squad to win back the Premier League.”

City’s summer spending has topped £60m after adding Torres and AFC Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake to Guardiola’s squad. Spain international Torres was linked with a move to rivals Manchester United before joining City and the 20-year-old has revealed it was a conversation with Guardiola that convinced him the Etihad was the place to be.

“Since the day we knew that City was in contact with me I did not have any doubts,” said Torres. “When Pep spoke to me it was very important. He told me to come to Manchester, that my arrival would be important for the team and that he envisioned the club as a great place for me. From that point, to be honest, I was absolutely convinced to come.”

Torres has moved to City after making nearly 100 senior appearances for boyhood club Valencia. And after spending his younger days waiting for David Silva — who made the move to Manchester from Valencia in 2010 — to ask for pictures and autographs, he has now inherited his hero’s No. 21 shirt at City, who kick off their season with a trip to Wolves on Monday.

“I have really good memories of watching him when I was young at La Mestalla,” said Torres. “The team they had, with [David] Villa and [Juan] Mata as well, was excellent.

“I have a lot of memories about when we waited for the first team players to come out from the training sessions. We would be waiting for that moment to ask them pictures and signatures. I remember looking for David Silva above the rest.

“I had several pictures of that Valencia squad. It was a great team for a number of years and I like them for what they meant and for the great seasons they gave to the club.”