Pep might have a striking answer in Torres: Neil Humphreys
While playing for his country, Torres shows poaching instincts that his club need
Manchester City are still in the market for an accomplished finisher, comfortable with either foot and reliable in the air.
The Spaniards already have one. They got him from City.
And so, the circle of Ferran Torres' schizophrenic life continues, accumulating goals for his country and gathering splinters on the bench for his club.
Spain coach Luis Enrique reveres him. City manager Pep Guardiola currently ignores him.
Torres scored twice in Spain's 2-1 win against Italy in the Nations League semi-finals yesterday morning (Singapore time), but had no role to play in the Liverpool draw last weekend, when City squandered too many opportunities.
It seems such a striking paradox. Guardiola fretted over Harry Kane's availability all summer, but now overlooks a rising forward with natural goalscoring instincts.
In truth, Torres' performance against Italy bore closer resemblance to City's former striker Sergio Aguero. For both goals, he ghosted towards the far post. The first was put away with a guided side-volley. The second was a smart header across the goalkeeper, textbook stuff for a penalty-box prowler.
Aguero mastered this lark for a decade at City. Guardiola has been trying to fast track a replacement ever since.
Against Liverpool, Jack Grealish was lumbered with the thankless role of "false striker at a club with no real centre forward".
Guardiola likes to rotate his victims, as if playing a perverse game with the media, giggling away as reporters write the same headlines every week with different names in the No. 9 slot.
And it just didn't work, for Grealish, or City generally, despite Phil Foden's remarkable productivity along the left flank - the same flank that Spain utilised against the Italians, the same area where the Spaniards whipped two crosses towards Torres, which ended in goals.
Something is missing at City. Perhaps it's an issue of trust, or an incident in training, or even an unwillingness to pin the goalscoring hopes of title challengers on a 21-year-old (despite Enrique being happy to do so against the European champions).
It can't really be about the stats.
Since playing for more than an hour against RB Leipzig in the Champions League, Torres has been an unused substitute in four of City's last five games.
Curiously, they've only triumphed in one of those four games (against Chelsea).
Maybe it was a coincidence, but the common theme of City's lack of ruthless efficiency in front of goal has persisted.
Fourteen goals from seven English Premier League games appear a decent return, but the figures conceal City's underlying profligacy.
Take away the five goals scored against both Norwich City and Arsenal - where Torres knocked in a brace - and Guardiola's reluctance to call upon the Spaniard looks all the more baffling.
City's other forwards toiled against Southampton (0-0), Chelsea (1-0), Paris Saint-Germain (0-2) and Liverpool (2-2). Torres remained on the bench for all four games.
Obviously, the high-calibre opposition should not be discounted, but City managed only three goals across the four games.
Against Southampton, Chelsea and Liverpool, Raheem Sterling, Foden and Grealish all took turns through the middle, as if Guardiola was playing a generous game of pass the parcel with a No. 9 scrawled across the wrapping paper.
Torres was nowhere to be seen.
But Enrique certainly sees him. An impressive 12 goals in 21 games for Spain will turn any manager's head, particularly one that advocates a fast, pressing 4-3-3 that encourages forwards to drift inside.
Intriguingly, Guardiola emphasises a similar approach. City's high pressing earned a victory at Stamford Bridge and snatched a point at Anfield. More often than not, their creative versatility prevails.
But there must come a time when midfield mastery is not enough, when crosses are not met and too many chances go begging.
And Guardiola may find the answer is already sitting on his bench.