Man City boss Guardiola says Torres can be his No 9 after stunning hat-trick

Man City boss Guardiola says Torres can be his No 9 after stunning hat-trick

Pep Guardiola says Ferran Torres can emerge as Manchester City’s No.9 after his hat-trick in the 4-3 win at Newcastle.

The 21-year-old arrived as a winger from Valencia last summer but has been used in a central role at times this season.

And he took his tally to 13 for the season with a match-winning treble at St James’ Park, after which Guardiola could not hide his delight with his fellow Spaniard’s killer instinct.

‘This is his first season in England and his numbers are exceptional in terms of goals,’ said Guardiola. ‘I may have to think about playing him as a striker. He can be a No.9. He is an alternative, he is brilliant.

‘The movement he creates as a striker, the runs in behind. His last goal - the ball hits the crossbar and where does it come? He is there. He has the smell, the striker’s nose, being intuitive to be there one second before the ball arrives. He has this talent and is a good finisher.’

Could this mean City are less inclined to go out and buy a striker to replace the outgoing Sergio Aguero this summer?

‘Maybe we buy a striker, maybe we don’t,’ said Guardiola. ‘But we have a guy who is young. I can use him left, right or as a striker.’

City twice came from behind to record a 12th straight away win, three days after being confirmed as champions.

And Guardiola said: ‘We made mistake because we are champions and the players were distracted a little bit, this is normal. But the spirit was absolutely there.’

Meanwhile, Newcastle boss Steve Bruce bemoaned the defensive lapses that cost his side what would have been a deserved result.

‘We give it a good go, but we had to be better than what we were defensively,’ he said. ‘The sloppiness of a couple of goals was disappointing. We were a bit naive. I was delighted with how they went about their work, but we weren’t quite good enough.

‘It’s about getting that balance right for us, because we know we’re a threat on the counter.’

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