Is this the perfect answer to Arsenal’s Defensive Midfield problem?

Arsenal’s defensive midfielder problem by Peter D
Arsenal have been busy adding to our attacking options this far in the transfer window with the acquisition of Fabio Vieira and Marquinhos, and the ongoing speculation surrounding Jesus and Raphinha. While this is very exciting and the increase in forward options would be greatly welcomed, it overlooks one position that is a glaring hole in our squad, a defensive midfielder.
Every successful team requires that player who quietly sits in the hole in front of the defence reading the play and then pouncing to break up opposition attacks. The best defensive midfielders are almost unseen, like our former ‘invisible wall’ Gilberto, a player who for me belongs in the pantheon of Arsenal legends. In the Premier League at the minute, Kante, Fabinho and Rodri are the players who perform this thankless task with best efficiency. But who can Arsenal get?
Ideally they would need somebody with experience. Preferably Premier League experience, and experience in other leagues would also be an asset. A seasoned international who has had to overcome setbacks and grow his game. Preferably somebody with a price tag to suit our budget, rather than the extortionate sums being asked for the likes of Declan Rice. I might just have the man for the role – Lucas Torreira!
If we can recall Torreira’s performances when he first arrived then it may not seem like a crazy solution. In his first season Torre,ira was outstanding. Tigerish in the tackle, available for the out ball and efficient with his passing. He was serenaded by the Gunners faithful with a tune reserved exclusively for our old talisman Patrick Vieira because he was that good. Then Emery (for some insane reason) tred to turn him into an attacking midfielder. From that point his Arsenal career went pear-shaped. The ensuing toxic atmosphere in the ground and in the dressing room seemed to affect him adversely and his form and the team’s form plummeted.
He seems to have rebuilt his confidence in Fiorentina, where he played his favourite role of doing the dirty work well. After their derisory offer of £6 million it would make good sense to hold onto him and see if we can return him to the quality that he displayed on his arrival. What do you Gooners think?
Peter Doherty

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47 Comments

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  1. He is a good player but problem is where he will play??
    He can very good no nonsense hard hitting DM but where we can accommodate him
    We cannot drop Partey and Odegaard..
    The only time when he can play if we drop Xhaka..
    Xhaka is Arteta’s one of the most favourite player so it is not possible that Arteta would even think of playing Torriera by dropping Xhaka..
    Your thought is correct but that’s not gonna unless we sell Xhaka or change our manager or Xhaka is being injured…

    1. Partey is very much prone to injuries and in essence his injury history cost Arsenal top four and ultimately Champions League football. If Arsenal had kept Torreira, they could have had someone to stand in. I was confident Arsenal would have signed Bissouma but they let him slip through their fingers. With Torreira costing nothing, I feel he is the best player. But with Arteta you can’t trust.

  2. He was treated poorly as were Guendouzi and Saliba. That was when Arteta was trying to wipe Emery’s name out of Arsenal history. I think Torreira was a good player. Watching our present ‘superduo’ (zzzzzzz snore) Xhaka and Elneny leaves a LOT to be desired. Torreria can do no worse than that pairing at all.

  3. Torreira is a great tackler, but he is too weak to be our main CDM and too slow to be a box-to-box midfielder like Kante

    Arsenal had better sell him and use the money to sign Lisandro Martinez. If Martinez plays as a CDM, Partey could play in a more advanced position and utilize his dribbling skills there

    If our CF and AMs presses effectively, we won’t really need a great tackler in the CDM position

    1. Haha, ” too slow”, these words are becoming more popular on this site I think cause every player that is linked or is with arsenal is lebled as slow. I don’t know who’s fast then,
      Just interested anyway

  4. The absence of a top quality dedicated DM is one of the reasons we are unlikely to seriously challenge the likes of City and Liverpool, but, with respect, Torreira does not have the physical attributes needed to fill this very important role.With unlimited funds ,Rice would be my first choice, but that is not going to happen, and it would appear that Partey and Xhaka will continue in their dual central midfield roles next season.This is unfortunate as Xhaka is very limited, to put it mildly, and until he is moved on ,I suspect our midfield will continue to be second best in many matches.Laconga ,who I personally like ,has a lot of talent but he will never be a DM nor will Ben White, despite the fact that he does stride forward impressively from time to time.

    1. Grandad, as you, I and others havd known since Gilberto Silva left, Arsenal teams have suffered from the lack of a top line DM. The failure of Arsene Wenger to adequately replace Gilberto Silva (going for Xhaka instead of paying the extra for Kante was a case in point) has been a major contributor to Arsenal not being able to match the top clubs in midfield and often even being overrun by lesser clubs.

        1. Thought Chelsea offered him the £130k that we we didn’t want to pay. Wenger thought he wasn’t worth that sort of gamble

        2. Yes Admin.
          I remembered we matched the Chelsea offer.
          But he chose them.

          I would Love Arteta to bring back Torrera and sell Xhaka

          Partey hardly stays fit. He can’t be relied upon especially with the Europa league coming.

          I no longer include Tierney and Partey in my first 11. They hardly stay fit.

          Lokonga is a Central midfielder.

          DM

          Elneny
          Torrera
          Ruben Neves

          CM

          Partey
          Lokonga
          Telemans

          Telemans and Ruben Neves should be prioritized ahead of Raphinha.

          50m pounds for Raphinha is a waste of money. It makes no sense.

        3. not the case whatsoever…he went to Chelsea for 32M and 110K per wages, but we haggled and dithered, which left Kante with the logical impression that he was more wanted by our London rivals…shortly thereafter, we acquired Xhaka for more money and higher wages than our first 3 wage offerings to Kante…I don’t blame him for choosing Chelsea and in hindsight we look even more pathetic

  5. Far too lightweight to play DM in the Premier League as proved when he played there.
    Martinez is the perfect player to replace Xhaka and partner Partey at the base of midfield.

  6. Coquelin who only had one bad season was better and less appreciated. He pocketed very good midfielders in his time here and even handled De Bruyne very well in a 3-1 loss to City away in 17/18 before he left the club. I wish we could find a better version of him. No DM has ever made me feel the way he made me in 14/15. Before every game that season, I just thought we would never lose because he’d be there to intercept everything and his pairing with Santi was great.

    1. @kev
      Thanks for bringing this up Gooner. Santi & Le Coq were in sync. They knew when to drop off when one went forward and vice verse. Together they were a midfield dream to watch. Breaking up play and turning defence into attack at the drop of a hat, like clockwork. That’s what’s missing in our midfield. IJS

  7. Arsenal offer of 265k a week wages to a player who hasn’t scored 15 since he joined the EPL is too much. Jesus has 1yr left on his contract meanwhile Edu wants to pay more than 40m for him and give him 265k wages a week.

    Let’s concentrate on Rafingha and convert him as a striker in the same way Arsene did for RVP.

    1. Why do some Arsenal fans complain about player wages and transfer fees asthough this money comes from there pockets. When the club doesn’t spend fans protest, when they do spend we still moan. I don’t hear other teams fans complaining about such.

      1. Because we have other priorities.

        Our present central and defensive midfield is very weak.

        We have Xhaka, Lokonga, Elneny who play sideways, they don’t have the skill set like Carzola to move the ball forward.

        They don’t score goals. And when Partey gets injured, that area of the pitch gets overwhelmed.

        If we pay this much for Gabriel Jesus, will there be enough funds for Ruben Neves(50m pounds), Telesman(25m pounds), Gnarby(40m pounds) and Zinchenko/Martinez(35m pounds)

        4 quality signings we urgently need.

    2. I would rather we move Martinelli to the CF role and buy Gnarby.
      Our Central midfield and full back positions are key.

      Raphinha is not priority honestly.

      Bayern have bought Mane. We should go for Gnarby asap.

      Gnarby
      Ruben Neves
      Telesman
      Zinchenko

      The above 4 deals are priority

  8. Thank you Kev. Our police of 2014/2015 coquelin!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are really missing someone who can arrest the good attackers that gives our defense massive problem. We’ve been short of quality in that position for a very long time.

    1. That was one of the best defensive performances I had ever seen from any DM in a season and the scary thing is he didn’t even start the season with us. He bossed all the top teams that season. He was injury prone though which meant his form and consistency suffered.

  9. I agree that Torreira deserved better. He was bought on the back of a wc performance with Uruguay who were punching above their weight based on a very defensive approach and a fast counter-attack with Cavani as striker.

    Torreira was often the man out of the blocks when Uruguay gained possession, getting the counter going quickly. A problem is that Arsenal don’t play that way. But…

    Torreira was also a real terrier in the tackle and he was all over the pitch. I can see him in the DM role but I can see him in a couple of other possible roles in view of his energy – I hope he’s given another chance.

    1. Torreira, guendozi, pepe and saliba are good players, but they won’t have any chance with the apprentice in charge.

      Martinelli and tierny are lucky because they are fans favorites and their performances speak volume.

      They apprentice first target was get rid of anything bought by Emery. Arteta can not give saliba any chance because he would not want him to outshine his Ben white.

      If the Emirate stadium was built by Emery, Arteta would have moved arsenal back to Hibury or else where..

  10. this conversation is pointless,Torreira and his father have made it publicly known that he doesn’t want to go back to the UK even begging the club to let him go,as if he were some hostage!

    1. As the article says, he was really good until UE tried to make him an attacking midfielder which he wasn’t. He even scored against Spurs, I remember.
      After that though his form plummeted and homesickness started. He needs to be showed some love and be allowed to play his favourite position.

  11. If we cannot sell Torreira, then I’d pick him over Xhaka, Elneny, and Lokonga all day long.

    But he doesn’t want to be at Arsenal so no point in keeping someone against their wishes.

  12. 👍Siamois, a bit hard to get Torreira to play for Arsenal, when he and his family don’t want to live in England.

  13. If we are looking for DM we should go all out for Ndidi ….. he’s the right man for the job and again we should forget about Jesus and go for victor osimehn

  14. Torreira is not good enough. The selective/short memories always seems to contradict what some of you claim you want, which is top quality players. Torreira looked lost in every game he played besides against Spurs and for like 1 month when he first came to England. How many times has the guy said he’s also not happy here as well. Not sure why we debating this. It won’t turn out as well as it seems in your head.

  15. Torreira is a good player, with good skills to make a starting player and that’s why I think he prefers to stay away from Arsenal as we use him as sub player

  16. If I were Edu, I would prioritize Lisandro if he is as good as Youtube shows. I would play him in DM having bottled Bissouma, he could actually do better than him. This is our own Kante. We need this guy more than anybody else apart from the striker

  17. Good try Peter, I think we all had expectations in his first year that Arsenal had discovered our own Kante and for a while it certainly appeared to be the case. However, we saw him weakening as the season progressed, he often couldn’t match it with more physical opponents in one on one encounters where he was pushed around by the bigger guys. I don’t know how he fared in Italy last season in a league which is more suited to his pace. Both my children follow Italian football but the never mentioned him nor have the bigger Italian clubs shown any interest. Since he still remains on our books he could be given another chance. At least, he must have more to offer than Elneny? It is a gamble though. My money would be on an all out effort to get Tielemans at whatever cost. With him and a proper strike Arsenal would be set to go.

  18. If only he wanted to learn English and had an actual desire to play in the Prem.

    Still, I’d rather risk it by giving him time on the pitch to possibly increase his value and then sell him in January.

  19. Peters article is factually INCORRECT. Torreira was soon exposed as being far too physically tiny and unsuited to be a PREM league effective DM.
    Peter is of course fully entitled to his view, but speaking as a realist, I KNOW, as will also the almost entire Arsenal fanbase, that what he asks for is not going to come about. I am glad that is so and so will almost all Gooners be .

    Essentially then, this is simply another “what if” article that has NO chance of ever happening and THAT is all that counts.

  20. Lest we forget.

    He tries very hard, and runs around a lot, but he was, and probably still is, far too small for a premier league DM.

    In fact Elneny works just as hard and he is bigger and stronger, but even he is not as intimidating a DM as I would like to see in our midfield.

    So sorry old son, but I just cannot buy what you are selling in your article!!

  21. We have a perfect player Guendozi to play CDM to form a good midfield with Partey and Martin but Arteta just have too big if ego. He would rather go and pay double the amount for less or equal player then try to work with what he has, saliba and guendozi are some of the examples.

  22. Torreira, for me, would be an excellent option. He is hard working and committed to his cause. The only problem is that he is not comfortable in England and if somehow that matter can be resolved, I feel we have a DM right inside our ranks.

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