Lucas Torreira says he’s been pleased with his development on the pitch over the course of his first year in English football but admits, off the pitch, life hasn’t been as enjoyable as his time in Italy.
Having played in a World Cup, made a big money move to Arsenal, scored a cracker of a goal against Sp*rs and a enjoyed a run to a major European final, the 23-year-old has barely had time to catch his breath in the last 12 months.
As if he didn’t have enough on his plate he’s even the subject of rumours linking him with a move to AC Milan, who’ve just appointed his former Sampdoria coach Marco Giampaolo as head coach. We’re ignoring those because we think they are guff.
Ahead of Uruguay’s opening game of the Copa America against Ecuador on Sunday, our diminutive midfield terrier reflected on the highs and lows of his journey.
“I went from the Italian championship to a totally different style of football and life,” he told Uruguayan outlet Ovacion [quotes translated by Football 365].
“We all know what England is about and what the Premier League is about. I made a very important jump at a football level.
“At Arsenal we played four competitions, while in Sampdoria I was used to playing in only two – the Serie A and Coppa Italia.
“There were many more matches. I had to get used to playing every three days, which is very hard.
“Unfortunately, we were not able to qualify directly to the Champions League, and we played in the final of the Europa League. Losing that final was very hard, not only for us but for the club.
“But for me the balance was positive and I am satisfied and happy with what I did during the year. I played 50 games, practically twice as much as I played the season before.
“As you gain experience and have different partners by your side, you will learn a lot. I have learned a lot, especially how to handle the matches and their different situations.”
For all the positives, Torreira admits that his lack of English and the UK’s shitty weather have made it harder to settle than he’d like. It’s not a new phenomenon, plenty of players have come here and struggled on that front, it doesn’t mean they want to leave immediately.
“I don’t know if there are many things that I enjoy,” he said. “I think I had a better time in Italy.
“England is a totally different world. The language (barrier) has stopped me being able to relate with my team-mates and the people. It is very difficult when you can’t have dialogue.
“And then there is the weather. You go out in the morning and it is cloudy, you arrive at your house in the afternoon and it is cloudy.
“We are from here (Uruguay) and we are used to always – or almost always – having the sun. But as the years go by, I’m going to adapt.”
We’d like to highlight that final line to Ivan Gazidis.