Friedel - Roque as good as Torres
Brad Friedel believes his former Blackburn team-mate Roque Santa Cruz is as good as Fernando Torres.
Last Updated: 21/08/08 8:36pm
Aston Villa keeper Brad Friedel believes his former Blackburn team-mate Roque Santa Cruz is as good as Fernando Torres.
Liverpool splashed out around £26.5 million for Torres from Atletico Madrid and he is regarded as one of the Premier League's finest following his return of 24 league goals in his debut season.
Santa Cruz was snapped up for a fraction of Torres' fee, but Friedel believes the Paraguayan ace is just as good as the Spaniard after he helped himself to 19 league strikes last term.
Friedel left Blackburn for Villa this summer and while Santa Cruz has been linked with a move away from Ewood Park, the American shot-stopper doubts whether Rovers would part with another of their prized assets.
"As far as transfer speculation is concerned I know nothing about whether he is going to go or stay," stated Friedel.
Pound for pound
"For me, last season he was probably one of the top three buys in the Premier League. He's up there with Fernando Torres pound for pound.
"He is just the whole package, good in the air, he can hold the ball, it was a great return for what Blackburn paid.
"But when it comes to transfer money, I don't even know if he is saleable what with myself and Bentley already gone, you'd have to call John Williams (Blackburn chairman) and ask him that.
"It would be tough if three of us were to leave in one summer.
"I can't believe people passed up on him last year, maybe they were thrown off by his injuries. I can't say enough good things about Roque Santa Cruz. He's a lovely fellow and a great guy."