Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Mustafi praises Torreira for providing midfield balance

Shkodran Mustafi has paid tribute to Lucas Torreira for his part in balancing the Arsenal midfield this season.

The £26.5m signing from Sampdoria in the summer has emerged as a key part of Unai Emery’s plans despite a slow start to his career in North London.

He put in a man of the match display against Liverpool on Saturday, and as the Gunners seek a win over Sporting tomorrow night that would see them top their Europa League group, the German was full of praise for the Uruguayan’s impact thus far.

“I’m very happy for him,” said Mustafi. “He played at one of my ex clubs, Sampdoria, so when he came here, it’s of course not easy, because it’s a different type of football in England.

“You have to give credit to him because he’s someone who works hard, who wants to work hard and who shows that on the pitch as well. Against Liverpool he recovered a lot of balls, and that makes it not only easier for the defenders, but for the whole team.

“As long as you have the ball, you have more opportunities to score. I think you have to give him credit. I’ve changed a lot of leagues, a lot of countries myself and I know it’s not easy to settle in.

“I think he’s done it brilliantly well.”

His partnership with Granit Xhaka also looks like it has real potential, and Mustafi believes that the players in midfield are capable of doing their defensive duties.

“I think the midfield players are defensively minded when they have to be,” he continued. “When we have the ball, the players try to create something up front.

“We try to work as a team, building up from the back. We play forward from the back. When we don’t have it, we press and defend from the front. When we have the ball, we are all offensive players.

“When we lose the ball, we are all defensive players.”

Arsenal haven’t kept a clean sheet since the 1-0 win in Lisbon last month, so if we could see a bit of that defensive solidity tomorrow night then we’d do our chances of winning the group some real good.

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Big change, should have done something similar several seasons ago. All of a sudden the Terrier protecting the defence makes them all look considerably better, as well as Xhaka, and frees up the attack.

A Different George

Watching the Liverpool match a second time makes it clear how well Mustafi played; he was responsible for clearing a danger in our area over and over. It also makes it clear what football looks like when two very good teams decide they want to play. Great match.

Romford pelè

As an amature cb like blogs, I’m just gonna say it. I like Mustafi. It’s incredibly difficult to make the right call each time when your last man but I like his combative nature and his attitude. Just had to say that


Torreira has really helped improved Granit. Taking nothing away from the massive influence Torreira has on the Swiss, Xhaka was MOTM for me against Liverpool It was an imperious display. He led the team with 5 tackles, 96 passes and a 118 touches. Also a fantastic (thankfully well timed) tackle on Salah to deny him in our box and several inch perfect quick releases to our forwards from deep. BUT this is not a new phenomena. Unless you have been hiding under a rock, he is an Asset BC he switches the focus on attack very quickly. I think we… Read more »

Lucas Sam

I cannot help but wonder what if Wenger bought someone like torreira a while ago. I mean look at how COQ and Cazorla did so well in his system, Torreira being a mixed breed of the two. Oh well, I’m glad the new manager has addressed this glaring flaw.

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