Southgate already has first-hand experience of how difficult it is to shackle the Spaniard. That came in the pre-season three years ago, when Southgate found himself marking the youngster - not one of the Boro chief's happiest playing memories.
Torres, then 21, scored, Atletico Madrid won and Southgate hung up his boots at the end of the following campaign.
He said: "You could see the talent he had even then and how he'd fit into the English game without any problems. I must say I didn't do particularly well - I did retire for a reason! He's one of THE outstanding players in this league and gives them something that, when he's been injured, they haven't had. His movement is so good, even though we gifted him two of his goals."