The 25-year-old eventually moved to Anfield for £26 million and with 60 goals in just over two seasons has proved his worth and the Scottish manager wrong.
Related ArticlesManchester United v Everton: match previewRio Ferdinand ruled out until JanuaryFerguson's best XIFergie's worst XISir Alex Ferguson: players more fragileVidic firing on all cylinders"I know Manchester United watched him closely but decided that given the likely fee he would not be good enough to play at Old Trafford," Cole told the Mirror.
"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 spoken to several of the current squad about him and they all say the same thing: 'Top, top player'.
"Torres stunned me when he arrived from Atletico because he settled so quickly. The Premier League is totally different to the Primera Liga, but you wouldn't know from watching Torres.
"He reminds me of Ian Rush - he seems to drift in and out of games while always remaining a threat. At time he 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' game is not just about the box but he's most dangerous in there because his close control allows him to take possession in confined areas."
The paper adds that another striker is top of Ferguson's list in the January transfer window with United struggling to score goals this season.
The Old Trafford-based club are struggling to match the goalscoring abilities of their top four rivals having netted just 23 times this season compared with Arsenal (36) Chelsea (29) and Liverpool (27).