United were considering making a bid for Torres but decided to pass and instead the Spaniard became a success at Liverpool.
“I know Manchester United watched him closely, but decided that given the likely fee he wouldn’t be good enough to play at Old Trafford,” Cole told The Manchester Evening News.
“United scouts judged him receiving the ball in all different positions and watched his reactions. We all make mistakes and not signing Torres was one because I’ve spoke to several of the current United players about him and they all say the same thing: `Top, top player.’
“Torres stunned me when he arrived from Atletico Madrid because he settled so quickly. The Premier League is totally different to the Primera Liga, but you wouldn’t know it watching Torres.
“He reminds me of that great Liverpool goal-scorer Ian Rush. He seems to drift in and out of games while always remaining a threat. At times, Torres can make out he’s almost uninterested, and then tunes in, just like that, and he’s away with the ball with fantastic pace.
“Torres’s game isn’t just about the box, but he’s most dangerous there because his close control allows him to take possession in confined areas. He can transfer the ball from foot to foot to create space to get in a shot.”