Arsenal would be absolutely foolish to let first-team dynamite leave amidst £21m interest

Why Arsenal must hold onto defensive midfielder Torreira at all costs

According to Italian publication Il Mattino (h/t Metro), Napoli are planning to sign Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira in January.

The Italian side are ready to pay a sum of £21million for the holding midfielder if the Gunners turn down their loan offer ahead of the winter transfer window, the report adds.

Lucas Torreira in action for Arsenal. (Getty Images)
Lucas Torreira in action for Arsenal. (Getty Images)

Torreira, who was signed by Emery in the summer of 2018, has fallen down the Arsenal pecking order this season and was often played out of his defensive midfield role.

However, the Uruguayan has enjoyed some game time under Arsenal’s interim coach Freddie Ljungberg.   

The diminutive midfielder had earlier admitted that the season has been difficult for him.

Arsenal interim coach Freddie Ljungberg.
Arsenal interim coach Freddie Ljungberg. (Getty Images)

The 23-year old had an excellent debut season with the Gunners last year, appearing in 50 matches. Despite being deployed in a defensive midfield role most of the time last year, he contributed with 2 goals and 5 assists.

His consistent performances earned him a regular spot under Emery. He was a key member of the Gunners squad in almost all their matches last season.

However, with time, Emery lost his faith in Torreira’s qualities as a deep-lying playmaker and tried to reinvent the Uruguayan as a more attack-minded midfielder.

Torreira celebrates after scoring a goal for Arsenal.
Torreira celebrates after scoring a goal for Arsenal. (Getty Images)

Contrary to his plans, Torreira struggled to adapt to his new role, thereby losing his place within the first-team.

As a result, serious doubts have emerged regarding the young midfielder, who was bought from Italian side Sampdoria for a reported fee of £26million.

Before arriving at Arsenal, Torreira had made a name for himself as a defensive midfield dynamo with Sampdoria. He made over 70 appearances for the Italian side, scoring 4 goals and providing 1 assist during his two-year spell there.

As a holding midfielder, Torreira has played 55 matches for the Gunners and scored twice and assisted 5 times. However, when deployed in central midfield, he has failed to bring out his best.

Out of the 15 times he has featured as a central midfielder, he has not registered a single assist to date but has managed 2 goals.

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With Xhaka’s uncertain future, the doors could open for the young Uruguayan, who was continuously overlooked by Emery early in the season.

Moreover, Arsenal do not have any other defensive midfielders in their ranks and selling an experienced campaigner like Torreira would not be such a wise decision.

Verdict

With Arsenal struggling and Xhaka’s future uncertain, the defensive-minded Torreira would be of great use in front of the back-four. Hence, letting go of the Uruguayan would not help them in the long run.

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Written by Siddharth Suresh

Hello folks, I am an avid football follower who likes to read, report and play the world's most beautiful game. My other hobbies include writing poetry, traveling and exploring new cultures.
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