Sunday, April 21, 2024

Torreira: At this age I need to play

Lucas Torreira says he’s at an age where he needs to play regular football and admits he’s lost confidence during a ‘complicated’ season at the Emirates.

The Uruguay international made 11 fewer appearances in all competitions in 2019/20 compared to his debut campaign and played 27 per cent fewer minutes (2,041 vs 3,219 mins) overall.

Unai Emery’s belief that he wasn’t suited to a holding midfield role and the ankle break sustained just before the Covid-19 lockdown played a part in that but either side of the injury, he still struggled to usurp Matteo Guendouzi and Dani Ceballos.

While the season ended with him picking up an FA Cup winners medal, he doesn’t sound like a man who is particularly happy with life. 

“Last season I played continuously, this one less so,” he told Radio Sport890.

This year has been more complicated: I have lost continuity and confidence. I do not like this. At this age I need to play to be called up for the national team.

“Transfer rumours? I don’t know anything right now. I need to rest because it was a very long season, I got injured, then there was the coronavirus. 

“I have a contract with Arsenal, but if I have to change in the future it will be a decision I make for my own good.

“Every player looks for a team where he feels important. We will see what happens in the future.”

Earlier today, The Telegraph reported that Arsenal could be willing to sell Lucas Torreira this summer and that AC Milan and Fiorentina are possible suitors.

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He seems like the type of player to me that would thrive under Arteta. Sounds though like we are trying to offload him.


It does seem like they have chosen to cash in. Evidently, Arteta doesn’t rate him. But I hope this doesn’t turn out to be a mistake. He’s been excellent for us when used properly.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Arteta himself doesn’t seem to think he would thrive under him. I want to see his back. He should feel very lucky to be playing for Arsenal. We needed better talent but resorted to him because of budget.
Bye to the guy, bye bye !


A bit harsh. He was quite highly rated before he came to Arsenal. It hasn’t worked out for him, but still a decent player who could thrive elsewhere.


Rather harsh but to be honest, I wouldn’t mind some of your harshness involved in our outgoing business at the club.


Jesus. This is why people dislike Arsenal fans. Entitled, much?


I just think he lacks physicality for the Premier League


Yeah, just like Kante


He’s a one off for me and Torreira struggles to play a stretch of full games.


I like him, but he should be a player we look to move on. We should get profit from his sale is one bonus, but the fact is we need someone with his style, but better.


I agree, but I doubt we’ll make a profit on him. In fact, in this Economic climate, we’ll be lucky If we get £20 mil for him.


If we can’t get more than 20mil then we keep (he’s worth way much more than that).

djourou's nutmeg

i think he doesnt fit the team for more than purely footballing reasons… he’s only started to learn english during the coronavirus break, how has he communicated with his teammates this 2 years? you only see him hanging around with emi, i don’t think he’s very interested in settling in london… if he just fought for his place as he does inside the pitch!


I have to say, I’m slightly torn over this but I think him leaving makes sense. He’s someone I have a real affection for and think he will be a cracking player, but it’s fairly evident that he doesn’t quite fit in Arteta’s system and we should be able to recoup a pretty decent fee for him. I was having the same debate with myself as I read the AMN article earlier – my impulse is that I’d be very reluctant to sell him, but then I thought about how I’d actually end up being able to make the case… Read more »

Nickerless Bender

“Perhaps the takeaway is that pretty much everyone in the squad is dispensable, other than the obvious candidates”

With things going as they are I would even say the ‘obvious candidates’ would be sold if someone offers the right money. ?

Mentally Drained Gooner

If he is to leave and also Guendouzi. We’ll be very light in numbers in the midfield. Just Partey won’t do. We should also try and get Marc Roca. And while we are at it. Aouar would be great addition too along with Coutinho. I also heard Zaha is available so yeah why not finally get him for cheap this season along with James Rodriguez.

Now that we are so rich after the layoffs and potential player sales. All of this should be cake walk. Right KSE??

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Not Aouar, couple of great technical gestures in one game out of 7.


So, 2 players out and 6 in, how do you persuade them to come and not play regularly? Wage bill considerations alone would prevent this (unless Ozil goes).


He showed so much promise when he arrived, was like a better version of Coquelin, but if he’s not in Arteta’s plans then this makes sense for us and for him. I could see him doing very well in Italy. Sad to see him go, though.


As good as he is in his role, I feel like he’s not cut out for this league. He has amazing tenacity but is lacking in pace and power.

Dr. kNOw

This sums it up. Pace & power in tandem are so important in the Premier League. Arsenal’s midfield have generally lacked the required levels since the Vieira-Edu-Gilberto Silva days, bar a few individuals. Even Emery commented on the lack of players with the required levels of both physical and technical qualities, and he didn’t want to sign Torreira. He has the right style of play, but the Premier League might be a stretch too far. He either doesn’t get there in time because he can’t make up the ground, or is too easily bypassed when the tempo is high. The… Read more »


Yes. It got me thinking about other successful players in the Premier League with the same-ish role as Torreira. Players that come to mind that is relatively small are Kante, Makelele, Fernandinho. All of them have either pace and power or both.


Kante and Makelele were also incredibly clever players, their defensive positioning is unbelievable.

Ben EagerBeaver

Exactly what I tell my pals over here. His limitations make him reactive rather than proactive which means he doesn’t get to impose himself in midfield like he should.


He’s a good player and definitely could fit our system if given a decent run of games. But there’s a reason he isn’t preferred by the manager. We have to move players on to upgrade the squad. I’d much rather we sold him than AMN. Selling them both (as long as Guendouzi) seems like a huge price to pay for Partey – from both quality and depth perspectives. We don’t even know if Ceballos is staying… We can’t be caught out by clubs demanding big fees for our targets while losing our players for cut-price COVID prices. Torreira has to… Read more »


Seeing Real go out of CL, they could use Dani and stop the loan?


What connection do you see concerning Dani and the CL performance of Real?
I think Zidane doesn’t rate him, so whether they crashed out now or if Real had won the CL, I don’t think it makes a difference how Zinedine views Dani. The only change regarding that situation could probably be a new manager at Real who wants to include Dani next season, but I don’t see that happening.


I’m all for upgrading the squad – providing we get in players who represent an upgrade. Is swapping a 24 year old international defensive midfielder + a lot of money for a 27 year old defensive midfielder as really a good bit of business as people are making out? Do we have assurances that this Partey (dude) is a nailed-on one poo…? I feel sorry for Torreira. He has been plagued with injuries and then told by Unai Emery that he is not, in fact, a defensive midfielder but an attacking one; it’s just the rest of the world never… Read more »


Arteta said we cannot be a big club to rely on selling our assets to buy new players. So how much does he have to say in this matter? And what can he do to keep Torreira happy with the amount of playing time? I hope Arteta can convince him to stay.


I sincerely hope that Arteta has far more say in this – and all transfer business- than I actually fear he has. We have a great new manager and, at the second time of asking – a fine replacement for Arsene Wenger. The guy knows exactly what he wants and how he wants to achieve it; I just pray that that includes who we appoint and move on with the playing staff. I have my suspicions though that sadly this is not the case. Having Raul and Co in charge of transfers is, for me at least anyway, a case… Read more »


Had Torreira not been hurt, would Ceballos have gotten the run of play that he did? I think it would be a big mistake to sell him. He has the appetite for defense and we need that. Totally agree with you on Emery messing him up. Why not push Ceballos further up the pitch and use Torreira with Xhaka?

Fans called for patience with Hector when he returned from injury yet we are willing to ship off Torreira without much of a second thought smh.


Torreira with Xhaka would certainly work towards an end of a game if we were defending a lead. Two defensive midfielders for a full ninety minutes would be quite the parked bus! Depends who you’re playing and what the scenario is. The thing is and reiterate my point, Arsenal have a big, big season coming up now – to improve on 8th and seek top four/ECL football again is a massive task. Plus we have the Europa League to try and do well in and the defence of the FA Cup. (I was THAT close to saying ‘Our Cup’ but… Read more »

Dave cee

Torreira is a good fire fighter but not great at progressing the ball up the pitch. It is the same problem Chelsea have been having with Kante. Ceballos gets in ahead of him by simply being better on the ball. Arsenal need more than a guy just being a willing runner. On top of that he has never looked particularly settled at the club, always talk of returning to Italy. If there a reasonable offer then I’d say it is a no brainer to let him go. It may even mean we don’t need to sell AMN, who of the… Read more »


Torreira is a defensive midfielder, Ceballos is an attacking midfielder. Lucas Torreira’s game is about tackling, winning the ball and then giving to someone like Ceballos to do something with it. Attacking was never Torreira’s strong point, but if you’ve got a good creative midfielder, then you don’t need him making runs – which is what Dracula couldn’t get through that ‘Good Ebening’ spouting head of his. No wonder the player was unsettled.


Totally agree. Ceballos isn’t ready for 90 minutes of being a DM in big matches. I also wonder who backs up Xhaka if he gets injured. Lucas is more than useful as a lead protector, starter in big games and protection should Xhaka get hurt.

All that said, if it means keeping AMN, I reluctantly agree with selling Torreira.


Pushing Dani forward, adding second DM can only work if we play back 4 or we lose Saka, Nelson, Gabi – is Torreira the one to protect that line?


I believe we will be playing 4 at the back for at least half our matches next season. We will need a back 5 against the bigger clubs, but a 4 will suffice against most Europa opponents and 3/4 of the league games. Things change a lot when Luis is a rotation player and not an every game starter.


On the one hand, I can understand that he is a saleable asset. If we reinvest in another young, promising midfielder, I’m more okay with that. He hasn’t really kicked on since his first season. I do think he’s a good player, but just doesn’t suit the system. On the other hand, I do worry that Edu, Sanllehi, and company will just get some washed up player with a name in his place. Also, is it just me, but how many players are we conceivably going to sell? Wouldn’t we have to replace them? I think it could destabilize the… Read more »

Ya gooner

Talking to a mate about this and we came to the conclusion he’s not good enough. Yeah he’s a good tackler and can protect a defence but that’s about it. He isn’t an upgrade on let’s say coquelin who himself was seen to be not good enough.


I am inclined to agree with you. I think he is a specialist player that works in a team where he is essentially expected to break up play. The game is moving on from players with specialist functions – even goalkeepers are now expected to play possession football. My worry is more about the incomings as I don’t trust Edu et. al in making the right longterm decisions in terms of player recruitment. They keep wanting to shop in the 2010 basket as long as they are represented by Kia. I don’t understand why we can’t take educated risks on… Read more »


I really like Torreira but as Stillman pointed out the other day, the PL has moved away from the pure destroyer type of player (see Kante as well) & part of a much needed rebuild is going to see players we like move on. We badly need to upgrade that part of our squad and possibly selling Gendouzi, Torreira & AMN (while his stock is high) will allow us to bring Dani in permanently and another player. Xhaka has played really well under Arteta but is limited enough that if we could move him on for an upgrade we should… Read more »


I agree but do we also not need to have enough depth to manage ~50-60 games in a season. I would keep AMN as he can play multiple roles and bring back Elneny as reserve player (if we are unable to sell him). Off topic: Why did we again give the Southampton player a 5 year deal. Is he that good. Saw him at a couple of games and looked bang average


Personally I’d prefer Coutinho over Ceballos if the price tags are similar. Coutinho was a very good player when he was at Liverpool. We need better attacking midfielder who can penetrate.


While I hope we don’t sign him as I don’t see adding an almost 32 year old as a good use of our resources, I kind of assume if we go ahead with the Willian deal the idea is to convert him into an attacking midfielder as we already have the front 3 well covered.


I think you might be thinking about Willian who is 32. Coutinho is still 28. I’m not an expert in football analysis, but my eye test told me Ceballos is slow. When paired with Xhaka, he was supposed to be the more attacking minded player, but he rarely go forward like Joe Willock. So I’d rather recruit someone who can be a force and also guide our young players for a year or two and let the young players grow into their jobs.
And I agree with you regarding Willian.

Timorous Me

Willian’s contract would likely be a little too long and a little high, but I do kind of like the idea of him in that role. Attacking midfield creative types tend to be rather expensive, so that would be the problem with bringing in anyone else for that role (like Coutinho), and Willian has the benefit of versatility and he also won’t expect to play every game. If getting Willian for that role means we can also sign Partey and a class CB, then I’d be pretty satisfied. And if we’re lucky, Smith-Rowe will grow into that role gradually over… Read more »


I read somewhere Willian is currently on 130k/week at Chelsea. Could that be possible? If it is, we probably have some wriggling room to negotiate with him on pay and length of contract.

Don’t know anything about Coutinho’s pay or price, but it might be a good business if we can get him on loan for a year to give ESR and Willock more time to grow into their roles.

Timorous Me

I’ve seen rumors of both 120k/week and 150k/week for Willian with us, though obviously these should be taken with at least a pinch or two of salt. As for Coutinho, he’s around twice that, and it seems Barcelona would want some kind of fee on top of that, so it could be quite the significant difference. Both are certainly skilled players yet not without questions. I guess with Willian we can at least say he’s been doing it in the Premier League very recently, whereas there seem to be motivation or other questions about Coutinho. With that said, I’m inclined… Read more »

Kendall Jefferson

“Coutinho was a good player when he was at Liverpool”, Keyword – “was”. Coutinho like Kante and Ozil are specialist players and as we know, the EPL moved on from specialist players the moment Pep and Klopp entered the scene. Every club is now modelling their team to either match those two or neutralize them and to do that the reliance on specialist players has drastically dropped. You can’t match or neutralize those two by having a player who can only do one job in the team, that would be very costly at the end of the day as it… Read more »


Off topic: would swapping Ozil for Bale work? Zidane wants rid of Bale, Ozil can go back to RM. Both are 31. Similar wages, I think…


lol 🙂


I wouldn’t want him on our squad from a financial perspective certainly. I’m hoping that we can offload some or all of Ozil’s wages this summer, and if not we deal with that financial burden for another year. I wouldn’t want to extend that financial pain a further year [Bale’s contract runs through June 2022]. Would rather that we spent the Ozil savings elsewhere


I was wondering who thinks the same as regarding Ozil. Why don’t we just put him up for a free transfer??? I think he has prepaid as much of the £45m we spent on him as he is going to, we certainly won’t get a high transfer fee for him and he has already said he will see out the remainder of his contract. If another team in say America, Qatar, China or Greece can pay as near to his £350, 000 salary with no transfer fee surely that would suit all parties??? We get shot of him, he gets… Read more »


Of course I don’t know it, but I think we would definitely accept an offer without any fee. Problem is to find someone who pays the wages because it seems that he’d rather sit at home in London than play somewhere else for 2 pounds less a week. Also you’d need to find a club he agrees to go to, cause even if, let’s say, some oil magnate club owner from Turkmenistan would pay the same wages, Özil could simply refuse to leave for that club cause he’d rather collect the wages sitting at home in London than playing in… Read more »

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Very good idea but Florentino Perez will not want to take back Ozil. When Ozil left, Real said he lacked sport ethics.

Dave cee

Plus, you know, the fact that Ozil is completely done at the top level.
China is out. Turkey can’t afford him. Maybe Beck’s can ride to our rescue and take him to Miami


Becks is alot of things, but unfortunately he isn’t that stupid. 🙁


why would Real want Ozil,only team that want something to do with him is some turkish side, no big team from the top league want anything to do with Ozil
and Bale look similar to the german, he is happy to seat on the bench rather than trying to play elsewhere for less money….no thanks


That looks like 36% fewer minutes.


We’ve had constant stories that he has been looking to get away since he arrived. Really like him, but sounds like a win win if we can sell for decent money.

jack jack jack

Brilliant, talented player, but he seems to have strayed into square peg territory. Can only hope we get a decent fee for him, and that he thrives wherever he goes – which he will, without doubt. Top player.

Reality check

Love his gritty, no nonsense attitude but not the physical profile we need in our midfield. Need some pace and power, someone who can shift gears, carry the ball. I guess thats why we are after Partey..


I like him really much and I feel like he is exactly what we lacked for a long long time in midfield.

But I also like that we’re able to sell players when they still have value.


Are we really gonna lose Guendouzi, AMN Elneny and Torreira the same summer ? We will have a serious lack of depth in central midfield.

If we manage to get Ceballos back, that lives us with Xhaka, Ceballos and Willock. We better add Partey to the mix and maybe another addition ? A youngster ?


Is Partney any good? Never watched him play, YouTube clips reminded be of Alex Song. Hope if we are behind him, he is a elite one not just another body for the midfield. As for Torreira I love this dude for all the intensity and desire he plays with, irks me to see Xhaka play ahead of him, but understood better when I read Tim’s article. I have my belief in Arteta who knows better than most of what type of player he wants, all decision needs to rest with him. Still for all their performance at the final run… Read more »

Dave cee

Partey is a very good player


He is a good player but he looks out of place in our midfield now. Useful defensively he lacks the range of passing that we need to stretch the play.
He is clearly not happy, so it makes sense to sell. As long as the money is immediately reinvested in a midfielder that Arteta wants.


Can’t blame Arteta if he has someone better in mind or a system that doesn’t suit him but I do think/know that Torreira would be brilliant in a midfield three playing in the defensive role. He’s no box to box or playmaker but he’s a really good and mobile dm. Sad to se him go if he goes but he has clearly not settled in London or at Arsenal so a big good luck if he leaves and if he stays I hope he get’s a proper chance as a dm. I would rather sell Xhaka as he’s at the… Read more »


I think he wants to reinforce or free up Granit with Partey holding. He wants us to have someone who can bully space, retain the ball better. Its either bully physically ala Viera or by feet ala Santi or both ala Diaby (but preferably with a bit of durability) Other player I see linked should we not get Partey is Danilo Perreira (also with size and reach). Otherwise I say get Khedira on a season loan plus option for one year. We need that sort of cover ahead of defense and then allow one or both of Granit and Ceballos… Read more »


He just never settled in London. It’s one of the variables you can’t predict. He’s a good player. Sad it never clicked for us. We could’ve really used a good defensive midfielder.


I agree. I don’t think he was the right choice. Certainly better utility man than Elneny by far but we had Guendouzi and now Willock willing to carry the ball. Ceballos also has take on Arteta’s instructions and really developed (Not surprising bc he is at that age 23/24) Torreira had shortcomings. Santi he wasn’t. His height was also a liability particularly in the way we want to defend set pieces. You could see the opponents intentionally targeting Torreira. No surprise (except to some who seem to down vote you) that he was not preference for Arteta even when fit… Read more »


If one of Xhaka or Ceballos picks up an injury that keeps them out for a long spell we’ll be caught short if we have moved both Guendouzi and Torreira on. I like Torreira, he should back himself to fight and win his place in the team. Xhaka and Ceballos are solid but not untouchable, far from it in fact. I’m not particularly fearful of moving both Guendouzi and Torreira, I’m more fearful of what we might replace them with given our current recruitment “policy”, or that we wouldn’t replace them at all.


Exactly. Top post. ?


We will likely be adding (assuming Ceballos is extended)

Partey rumours persistant but price is difficult plus they don’t care for our player with an attitude.

If not Partey, we will defiintely be bringing someone-else like Danilo Perreira (FC Porto) as surrogate/option to Granit. Torreira is NOT the answer.

To me, if Partey looks too high prce wise, we should just go for Perreira now (or stop gap with Khedira)


Totally off topic but if you see the two gifts Real gave City this evening, it’s not just us who have problems in defence.


Maybe we can get Varanne for free…. won’t be any worse at Arsenal…fit right in:D


Gotta free up money to buy more Kia Joorabchian 32 year olds.



And to think we let go the scouts before end of transfer window….I guess they will just take advise from Kia or Raiolla. We’re in great hands.

Merlin’s Panini

It’s a shame if he goes. I thought he was great for most of his first season. This season he’s had injury problems but I think he could still do a job and has room for improvement. He’s a good player. If he leaves though, so be it. I’ll always remember his goal and subsequent celebration against Spurs. He was great that day. Seemed like he really got what the derby meant.


Top post. Well said.


Its beyond just injuries. He was not entirely convincing. He was available for selection but even with Guendouzi on strike, we had Willock ahead of him for a reason.


As I predicted. Not everyone is entirely on page with Arteta. Sokratis was one of our better performers but did not seem to fancy our chances (And to some extent he is right, we’ve won an FA cup but we are still unable to climb above 8th which is where Emery left us plus we went out tamely to Olympiakos in Europa) Torreira I felt was on the periphery too particularly even without Guendouzi. He seems as well wanting a move out for more playing time. Guendouzi we should be able to manage without getting so emotional. he is still… Read more »


Danilo Perreira another option to the expensive Partey.

Should just push for him instead if Athletico are refusing to budge.


I know he’s had some fitness issues but I’m very surprised Arteta doesn’t seem to fancy his workrate. Similarly to Sokratis actually


As Messi is the same size of me I’ve liked the fact a short arse can become the worlds best ever player, when Torreira landed at our club his 1st season I was impressed with his workrate, pushing the ball forward, but teams seemed to work him out like nullifying his effectiveness by sticking a combative mid whos managers know dumping him on the floor here our refs won’t buy it, where Torreira would have won a lot more free kicks in Italy, hes not happy here and I think a parting of the waves for us and him is… Read more »


Had one good game (v Liverpool) in 2 years. Not good enough and I wish him success somewhere else.

The Arsenal

Really like this guy but his lack of physicality is a problem..Its okay if you have Santi Cazorla skillset or even Ceballos but to be honest they could get stuck in as well.. The game seems to pass Torreira by both with ball and without it.. and he is one of the ones where its purely a physical thing not a lack of effort, The guy has the attitude and the mentality just the prem is not for him. Does not mean he is a bad player. I would cash him in over AMN.


I can’t understand why the club can let toreirra and Ainsley go… unless they’re prepared to replace that central position with better players.
What happens when we get 3 injuries in that position and have no backup players.


Good player just far to light weight for his DM position in the premier league… we need a player who is taller and can head a football.. I know it sounds silly but there isn’t a game he has played where I’ve seen him win a header from a opposition goal kick.


Very average player. Wouldn’t mind him in the squad but happy to see him go if he’s not happy and we can make some cash for him.



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