3 reasons why Lucas Torreira is Arsenal's final piece of the puzzle
The trophyless years of Arsenal were condemned by the fans and media alike. The most common phrase which turned up along with the ‘barren run of Arsenal’ was the club’s lack of willingness to spend on the transfer market.
This scenario changed five years ago when the club showed it’s intent to compete in the ‘money game’ by signing Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid.
Since then, the club has made many big money signings including the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. But the recent addition of Lucas Torreira could eclipse the hitherto signings, and there is every reason to believe that he will be the foundation upon which the new Arsenal would be built.
The signing of Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria is a statement from the manager Unai Emery to judiciously fill the void present in the squad for several years, the void of a defensive midfielder to efficiently protect his defenders.
The 22-year-old Uruguayan proved his mettle with impressive performances for both club and country. Now it is time for his short frame to carry the hopes of Arsenal to glory. The midfielder has got indispensable talent and interminable spirit to label his name in Arsenal’s new era. There are ample reasons to disbelieve the contrary perspectives.
#1 Torreira and the spirit of Patrick Vieira
The critics have always pinpointed the ‘lack of steel’ in Arsenal's midfield ever since Patrick Vieira left the club back in 2006. Arsene Wenger bought in umpteen defensive midfielders who were talented on the ball but lacked the physical posture and acumen of Vieira.
From Alex Song to Mohamed Elneny, the defensive midfielders have failed to emulate the flair and fierceness of the World cup winner. In a succinct way, Arsenal's mediocre campaigns of the past decade could be attributed to the club's failure to properly replace the Frenchman.
Unai Emery, the newly appointed manager and successor to Arsene Wenger took no time to perceive this defect in Arsenal’s midfield. Torreira and Vieira don't have many similarities. Yet the decisive characteristic of Torreira that could construct the new Arsenal's modus operandi is in tandem with the Frenchman's, who was part of the famous ‘Invincible’ squad.
Despite their difference in physical aspects, the intangible similarity between the two players is their genius to disrupt opponents' play and win back the ball. Torreira's ball retention ratio for Sampdoria is incredible. In the 2016-17 season, he had the best stats for a U21 player in Seri A - most interceptions (87) and most tackles (72).
It is a well-known theory that a player like Patrick Vieira comes once in a generation. But as of now, Torreira is the best bet to emulate the legend.