Torreira: It’s not about height, it’s about desire

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When his name is sung at the Emirates, supporters tend to shave a few inches off Lucas Torreira’s height but thankfully, the diminutive Uruguayan isn’t too fussed. He’s already proved this campaign that when it comes to being combative on the field of play, how tall you are doesn’t matter nearly as much as how much desire you have.

From the moment he signed from Sampdoria for £26.5 million last summer, the midfielder’s bite has made him a fan favourite. Now, at the end of a long debut season that has seen him rack up an impressive 49 appearances, he’s eager to finish on a high, by winning the Europa League.

“This season has been all very new, with a new coach as the previous ­one left after 22 years. That’s never easy,” he told the Mirror on the eve of the final in Baku.

“But it has been a very good season and, if we win the Europa League, it will be a chance to play in the Champions League next ­season and ­compete with the best teams.”

Tonight’s final will be the biggest of Torreira’s fledgeling career so far. He left Uruguay as a teenager to try his luck in Italy’s Serie B and following a move from Pescara to Sampdoria found himself attracting the attention of Europe’s big boys inside a few years.

A solid work ethic – something the Arsenal coaching staff have picked up on – has helped him stand out.

“I like to fight for my dreams, I work very hard and I invest an ­incredible amount of time into doing what I love,” he said.

“I don’t think height is something that impedes players from being good footballers. Think about Leo Messi, for ­example. He’s one of the greatest players in history and I don’t think he’s very tall.

“When you’re on the field, the most important thing is your ­movement, your confidence and your desire to achieve big things.”

Having not had a chance to return home during the season, Lucas will be relishing the chance to visit Frey Bentos this summer. Especially as the locals are now wearing Arsenal shirts in his honour.

“You see kids, not just in my hometown of Fray Bentos, but all across Uruguay with Arsenal tops on now.

“At the moment, I am the only player from Uruguay left in the ­Europa League or Champions League, so I’m well aware that I’m going to have the whole country ­following the final and I’m really proud to be able to represent them.”

Here’s hoping they, like us, have something to cheer later.

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Best Coast Gunner
Best Coast Gunner

What a guy, he comes Uruguay and he’s only 5 foot high. Torreira.

YoungFabregas
YoungFabregas

Put Torreira in the physique of Sol Campbell and we will win the next 5 premier leagues!

C.B.
C.B.

It’s an argument I’ve used on many occasions.

C.B.
C.B.

Strange world though, at other times I’ve heard people talking about me and saying ‘biggest pr*ck’, so it’s confusing.

And_Unai_Said..
And_Unai_Said..

Don’t flatter yourself.

C.B.
C.B.

I’m sure you must have heard it said about you too.

sambo
sambo

I think that’s little man syndrome

Punter
Punter

A short guy in my school once said.. Love is for tall people.

shokim
shokim

Good ‘ol Tenacious Terrier, he’s our Lucas Torreira!

COYG, let’s win a European trophy. It’s been too long.

Sue

I can relate to that 😄

Jack but
Jack but

I understand you

Dark Hei
Dark Hei

Somehow that line reminds me of Sabu

LebronKos
LebronKos

i love this guy but I have to say I think height is still one of his shortcoming despite his high desire of winning the ball. Header will hard to win in midfield and that is one of the problem Arsenal is having.

Teryima Adi
Teryima Adi

Go tell that to Kante and Messi.

A Different George
A Different George

We also forget how short Alexis is–and (when he played for us) he won headers against centre halfs!

sambo
sambo

Lacazette wins headers too.

Arsenala Vista Baby
Arsenala Vista Baby

Quite impressed with his words that reiterate how intelligent he is.

Papa Large, big shot in North London
Papa Large, big shot in North London

Hard to believe he’s only 23… tough, determined, cynical at times. I love it.

Arsenal need guys like this, Xhaka has a bit of it (though he doesn’t quite have the football intelligence to pull it off sometimes), Papa has it.

Deep

A mainstay and first name on the team sheet for a Top 10 footballing nation, which he has captained a few times.
One of the 5 chosen captains for a Top 10 club in the world.
All that at 25/26 years of age.
Kudos to Xhakha for fooling so many coaches into believing that he has ‘footballing intelligence’.

Bendtnerschridtmastree
Bendtnerschridtmastree

Former NBA player Nate Robinson (just 175 cm tall) wrote a biography called “Heart Over Height”.

Santori
Santori

Height is an issue.

He has been bullied off the ball several times bc of it.

Plus systemically (not his fault), we used him to attack the first ball into the box off a corner or stack in a wall for a free kick and both led to goals against us BECAUSE of his height.

Angry Arsenal Nerd
Angry Arsenal Nerd

First time I saw Fray Bentos I thought it was a Blogs joke of some sort.

Bring back David Hillier

Frey Bentos need to be our new shirt sponsor

A Different George
A Different George

Excellent with beer.

kaius
kaius

Lucas celebrating in front of the away fans at Valencia was one of the best things about this entire season. His pure joy was infectious!

This guy wants to win tonight because he wants to win, period. It’s not just about the CL or transfer budgets. COYG!

Santori
Santori

Hoping for a good performance from him today.

Ina spell either side of Xmas, he gave away the ball cheaply in midfield or was fleeced of it 6 or 7 times in games against BHA, Soton (away), West Ham, United of which 4 led directly to goals against us.

He’s been bullied off the ball as well bc of his dimunitive stature. If anything, we still could do with some height in midfield.

He isn’t Santi lets put it that way. BUT he does have some bite and he (like Granit) has been adept turning over the ball centrally at times.

Also for set pieces, hope we do not put him in the wall or have him attacking the first ball in off of a corner (two more goals conceded there but more systemic issue than a fault of his)

So hope we get the best of him today.