Lucas Torreira has been a growing influence on Arsenal as this season has progressed, and the £26.5m signing from Sampdoria is now a key part of Unai Emery’s midfield.
He provides defensive qualities the team has been crying out for for a long time, and his use of the ball is really excellent.
The 22 year old started his career in North London slowly, but insists his job isn’t simply about interceptions and tackles.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace, he outlined his responsibilities.
“The most important thing for me is try to bring balance to the team, to help the defenders and support the midfielders,” he said.
“To try to help the attackers and to be constantly trying to help in ordering that. They are small things out there, but in the end they make a big difference.
“Every time you go on the pitch you try to play. Obviously I want to have fun playing with my team-mates, to get things going and to help us win – as we have been doing.
“Always lending a hand, sacrificing in defence and in attack I am available to the team, always helping.”
The esteem in which he’s held by fans this early in Arsenal tenure is illustrated by the fact his name is sung to the tune of Patrick Vieira’s old song. Some of that may be down to the fact that Torreira and Vieira sound similar, but if he was playing like Denilson nobody would be singing it in the first place.
“It fills me with so much pride every time I go onto the pitch and they sing for me or applaud me for what I have done,” he said.
“It’s a beautiful thing. It’s really beautiful and I appreciate it. I am extremely proud to be at Arsenal and hopefully we can enjoy many things together.
“It’s a great challenge and a new challenge for me. I’m the kind of person who likes to fight for these things, to always be fighting my way up, like my dad always tells me. I am so happy.
“I’m getting to know London and taking on the challenge of learning English so I can communicate with my team-mates.”
It’s so far so good for Torreira, and fingers crossed he can get even better as this season goes on.