The Spain international, along with Rodri, was selected for the tournament, but his employers and Pep Guardiola felt it was more important for him to rest after the European Championship and be ready for the start of the new Premier League season.
Three days after his first comeback training session, Torres led the line for City in the Community Shield against Leicester to show just how central he is currently considered to Guardiola’s plans.
It takes impressive fitness levels to do that; Jack Grealish returned to training with Aston Villa on Monday but was not considered fit enough to make his City debut, while absent star Bernardo Silva actually played in the friendly against Blackpool on Tuesday but was left on the bench.
Guardiola made it clear in his first press conference of the season on Friday that City wanted to sign Harry Kane in this transfer window, and it would take top spin levels for Rafael Nadal to justify not signing him given the window. “Competitive and aggressive” which was promised by the president this summer and the fact that a No.9 is expected since before the start of last season.
However, Guardiola certainly sees a lot of things he loves at Torres – and he’s not the only one, given how Luis Enrique has used the 21-year-old at Euro this summer. While he arrived at the Etihad as a winger last year, his scoring talent thrilled the manager in a way few players can and Guardiola found himself purring during the treble against Newcastle in May.
Torres was fairly anonymous against Leicester, struggling to get the ball back and appearing to be out of rhythm. It is not the answer to the question of who replaces Sergio Aguero.
The fact that he started here at Wembley, before Bernardo and rather than being allowed to go to the Olympics, shows that the manager is sufficiently impressed with his ability and attitude to suggest that he will always have an important role at play even if City are able to land their primary target Kane before the end of the transfer window.
There are plenty of games to play in a season for a club like City that are tough on all fronts, and while doubts persist over Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Jesus – who are yet to return to training after their rest summer – Torres is set for many more opportunities to keep his place on the squad.