Ex Gunner cannot understand why Arsenal managers don’t like unwanted midfielder

Martin Keown is confused about the fact that Arsenal’s managers haven’t exactly warmed to Lucas Torreira.

The Uruguayan joined the Gunners in 2018 after shining for his country at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The Gunners saw off competition from several teams to land him and he was a key player for the club in his first campaign.

He, however, lost his place in the team in his second campaign and the sacking of Unai Emery still didn’t make things better for him.

Mikel Arteta has not fancied him in his team and the Spaniard is looking to offload him in this transfer window.

However, Keown believes that the 24-year-old is a fine player and he is baffled that Emery and Arteta have never seen the value that he can bring to the Arsenal team.

Keown told Talksport: “It’s hard to put your finger on it because when I saw him first break into the team, that tenacity and work rate and quality, technique on the ball, I thought he was going to be the answer.”

He added: “I don’t know if there are any underlying problems with the player, but he certainly looked to me to be the answer. It looks like he might just be a paperweight really in Partey in coming in the other direction.

“But I do feel he is a good player, but for some reason Arteta, not just Arteta to be honest, Emery was the same, did not really turn to him. A massive mystery. I thought it would be a loss to the team, but you can’t argue with Arteta because he is getting results.”

Keown makes a couple of good points but no matter what opinions people have, if Arteta does not consider him a part of his plans for whatever reason, then that is it, time to move on.

Tags Lucas Torreira Martin Keown


  1. Personally i don’t think LT has settled in England and here in lies the issue with him.
    If anyone isn’t happy in their personal life then that can affect their performances etc etc.
    If he does move on then i wish him all the best wherever he plays.

  2. Perhaps the usually perceptive Keown has not noticed that Torreira is tiny and physically disadvantaged , especially so in his position and in the tough, relentless and physically strong Prem.
    “Perhaps”, I say, ironically, but I do not believe that even myself and think Keown is merely trying to get a bit of self publicity with his rather strange comments. If he TRULY thinks , which I do not believe for a single moment, that Torreira is strong and good enough to thrive in our Prem then perhaps he ought to give up punditry altogether.

      1. Ignore the truth if you wish. It matters not to me! Kante is a far better, more mobile, more intuitive player than Torreira and a better interceptor. Taller by a bit too.

  3. @Jon fox.

    I dont think toreiras height is the issue. We can look at players like Kante who are he same height and at one point was arguable he best DM in the world. We can also highlight games like Uruguay vs Portugal where toreira had ronaldo in his pocket.

    I think more likely Toreira is unsettled. We don’t see him interacting with his team mates as much like the other stars and perhaps srsenal is simply not the best fit.

    1. Shortboygooner, Your final paragraph may well be true and probably is but my stature point and his lack of it in the physically demanding PREM(not world cup, which is less physical) remains true and pertinent.
      Ignore if it you wish, your choice! Point out to me if you are able, where in the PREM he has had a giant forward consistently in his pocket and then I may think again.

      I don’t see you doing that though and merely see you ignoring my PREM (in capitals for emphasis reasons) point and choosing that WC red herring instead.

      1. @Jon fox

        You are partially correct. This hasn’t been the case. But he can see that he does have the ability to play this kind of football.

        Also you ignored my comment about Kanye? Simular height and size but arguable one of the best in the world.

        Thinking on it actually and thinking about toreiras games. His first few games were amazing. And he played a more defensive role. But moving forward he was played more as CM then a box to box and at one point a CAM.

        Maybe he is not trusted in DM but I feel like he kind of has not been given a true chance in DM for us to say its because of his height and size

  4. I have always said that Torreira along with Guendouzi don’t have the necessary “technical skills” for a big club.

    Nothing to do with height at all!!!!

    Kante is the same height as Torreira but on top of being combative, he actually uses the ball very well. Contrast that with Torreira, who is frequently going down at every slightest of challenges,,,, why???
    Because he’s not a technical player!!!!

    1. I believe Arteta wants very much to make the most of the assets he has. He sees the players in training. He’s given everyone a “clean slate.” That Arteta starts Elneny ahead of Torreira says it all. I have always liked Lucas and I think he’s strong enough and technical enough in a traditional destroyer role, but Arteta wants more. In his setup, Torreira would not be a good fit. Maybe at Atletico he’d be perfect. He deserves a chance to shine–his attitude is fantastic–and should go where he can shine.

  5. As others have said and I agree with is he just hasn’t settled. It could be he doesn’t like the Premier League, London life or the weather.
    It could be the vitriol and toxic atmosphere created by some fans at the Emirates. Remember he was almost in tears when Xhaka was boo’ed of against palace. You could see he was emotionally affected by that and wanted to leave last January.
    Whatever the reason he is not settled or in a happy contented way.
    I like him as a person and as a player but I don’t think his on field performances were at 100% due to him feeling unsettled.
    I wish him luck for the future and hope he finds his happy place.

  6. While Torriera is combative and good technically he is just not up to the physical nature of the game in the Premier League.

  7. The epl is very physical. So we need
    players with bulk and height With due respect, the La Liga maybe more suitable for nim
    Arsenal need guys like Petit and

    1. That’s why most of the time la Liga teams run over EPL teams in champions League. Because EPL fans can not differentiate between rugby and football. Football is about skill and talent not about size and height all the time. All the people around the world have learnt that but not the English…that is why England never wins anything on international stage. This mind set has to change all the best players who have played in the DM role for different nations most of them were not huge build but did faboulus job. It’s about anticipation, awareness, positioning and playing simple passes. It’s not about full body blows, leg break challenges and off the ball fights. What are you going to do with all the physicality if you can not get the ball from the other team and what are you going to do with it when you have it when you have low skill level.

      1. you need a bit of both in the modern game. Teams just started to bully Spain at one point, and along with that generation of players aging, they are struggling to get back to their heights, while teams that have technique and quality like Germany, France and Portugal (to a lesser extent) have overtaken them.

  8. He’s never been able to be consistent and get back to the level he was at when he first came. Some down to EMery playing him all over the midfield. Some of it down to simply not settling, and it’s been reported for a while that he isn’t settled in England. (and now his friend Emi is gone too). Managers have opted for Xhaka in the holding role over Torreira and honestly I can see why. Xhaka does have better physicality, better passing (calm down, never said it was amazing passing just better than Lucas’). Think he would benefit in Atleti’s setup or an Italian side for sure.

  9. Neither Torreria nor for that matter , Xhaka, have the credentials to boss the midfield area.If we have hopes of regaining a top four position we need better quality in the engine room, particularly so when under the current 3-4-3 set up we are dependant on only two midfield operators.

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