Lucas Torreira says he’s pleased with how his first season in English football is going even though the regularity of games initially came as a shock.
Since signing from Sampdoria in the summer, the Uruguay international has made 39 appearances for Arsenal – the joint highest in the squad alongside Alex Iwobi – earning in the process, cult favourite status for his tenacious performances.
While the little midfielder has increasingly been rotated in and out of Unai Emery’s starting lineups in recent months, he’s still pleased with his development.
“I feel great here,” Torreira told a press conference ahead of Thursday’s Europa League showdown with Rennes.
“I have to say at the start, it was a little difficult because it was a completely different league. I was used to the Italian league, which is a very intense one.
“However, we were playing once or twice a week there, whereas at the start of this season here, Arsenal were playing every once or two days, so that was quite difficult.
“However I’ve been helped greatly by all the people at the club, and with a lot of hard work and sacrifice, I’ve managed to develop.
“I’m very pleased that I’m one of the players to have made the most appearances at the club this season.
“Having said that, the most important thing now is that we finish the season in the best way we can.”
The Gunners head into tomorrow’s game with Rennes knowing they need to score at least twice to secure safe passage to the quarter-finals. Against a well-organised side who’ve already proved they have the flair to upset the odds, it’s going to be a tough ask.
Despite the uphill challenge, Torreira is optimistic. “Obviously, we had the situation in the last round [against BATE Borisov] where we had to turn the tie around,” he said.
“I think in terms of the game last week it was a very different game until the red card to Sokratis.
“I think we were in control of the match and we’d obviously taken an early lead, but the red card did change things and Rennes were able to take advantage of things.
“That said, we do have confidence that we’re going to give a very big performance tomorrow and go through to the next round.”