Against Italy, Torres showed he is capable of stretching the defence in behind, as well as linking the play with his neat touches. His pace scares defenders and he has a striker’s instinct for finding the right spaces in the box.
Guardiola has spotted this, and used Torres up front for the first six matches of the season. They included consecutive defeats to open up against Leicester in the Community Shield and Tottenham in the Premier League, but also saw two 5-0 wins over Norwich and Arsenal and Torres net twice as he grew into the role.
Torres celebrates one of his two goals scored against Arsenal in a 5-0 win earlier this season
But strangely, he has started just once in five matches since – and that was in a much-weakened team to face Wycombe in the Carabao Cup. He scored in that match, but Guardiola has preferred Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish or Phil Foden in the false nine role recently.
Amid the competition to break into City’s jam-packed attack, Torres could be suffering another minor setback.
He has been a slight doubt for the final against France on Sunday after picking up a knock and limping off the pitch against Spain.
But brimming with confidence, Torres insisted a slight knock will not hold him back.
‘The foot is progressing well. It is time to deal with the physios for Sunday. I am a warrior, I will play in the final whatever,’ he said when asked for an injury update.