Xavi compares Ferran Torres form to early Luis Suarez struggles
Luis Suarez endured a slow start to life at Barcelona before establishing himself as a great. Xavi now hopes for the same for Ferran Torres.FotMob - 2 years ago
Xavi is confident Ferran Torres will come good at Barcelona despite a tricky start to life at Camp Nou.
Torres, a €55million December signing from Manchester City, rescued a 1-1 draw for Barca at home to Napoli in the Europa League, scoring from the penalty spot.
Yet that was the only one of the forward's nine attempts to hit the target on Thursday as he passed up a series of glaring opportunities, appearing to be close to tears at full-time having accounted for 1.47 of Barca's 2.03 expected goals.
In six games in all competitions for the Blaugrana so far, Torres has scored twice. But those goals have come from his only two shots on target, with a further 15 attempts failing to trouble opposition goalkeepers.
However, head coach Xavi believes this is all part of life at Barcelona, comparing Torres' circumstances to those of Luis Suarez following his 2014 move from Liverpool.
Suarez, coming off a 31-goal season at Anfield, scored just once in his first eight matches for his new club.
But the Uruguay forward finished that 2014-15 season with 25 goals, including one in the Champions League final as Barca won the treble. In 2015-16, he netted an extraordinary 59.
"Now we were making a comparison in the dressing room," Xavi said, with Suarez the last Barca player besides Lionel Messi to attempt as many as nine shots in a match (vs Inter in 2018).
"It happened to Luis Suarez. In the first few months it seemed that he could not score. The Barca shirt weighs a few more pounds.
"But because of how [Torres] has taken the penalty and the work he does for the team, I hope he can play many years at Barca.
"If he is in the area, it is because he will score goals. It's a matter of having faith and working at it. He has had goals all his life and will continue to have them. He has our absolute confidence."
Xavi – whose summary was "the feelings are very good but the result is not" – also discussed Ousmane Dembele's impact from the bench.
The coach was not enthused by a poor reaction to the introduction of the wantaway winger, but he felt a 25-minute display was ultimately appreciated by the Barca fans.
"The crowd have not listened to me, but they decide," Xavi said. "In the end, [the whistles] have been transformed into applause.
"He created things for us. That's it, we've already jeered him, it's already happened. The news is that the whistles have been transformed into applause."