Reasons why Arsenal should replace Lucas Torreira with Wilfred Ndidi

There are good reasons why Wilfred Ndidi would be an upgrade on Lucas Torreira.

Arsenal has been linked with a move for Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi and I think it would be a no-brainer if we are given a chance to sign the Nigerian international.

The numbers that Ndidi has crunched up in midfield since he joined the Foxes have been amazing and I am somewhat surprised that no team has taken him away from the King Power Stadium.

Lucas Torreira shone at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and it was considered a major coup when we signed him ahead of other teams.

He started his first season well, but Unai Emery found out how limited he was and didn’t rely on him this season.

Mikel Arteta has been giving him the chance to prove himself and I believe that is because we lack an alternative to him. He has improved for sure, however, I remain unconvinced that he is the best player that we can get for his position.

In many ways, Ndidi would represent an upgrade to Torreira and I would give some numbers why we shouldn’t hesitate to sign the Nigerian and sell Torreira.

Despite making over 100% more tackles than Lucas Torreira last season, Ndidi won 69% of his tackles compared to Torreira’s 60%.

Ndidi has also made 174 recoveries this season, Torreira has made just 77. The Nigerian has 40 clearances this season, while Torreira has made just 18. He is also better than Torreira in the air, he has won 54 aerial battles this season compared to Torreira’s 6.

In my opinion, Ndidi’s numbers make him the better player to seat in front of our defence.

An article from Ime


  1. Not a very fair comparison of stats to be honest, lucas has only started 10 games this season where as ndidi has started 20 games… only stats that have validity are % stats not number of clearances etc as he has started twice as many matches.

    1. @Rory johnson

      You are right, percentage is the best comparison for players ability having different game time. I like Ndidi for his physicality and work rate, however, I do not want to let go Torreira as he is improving much at the moment under Arteta. If we can get both at hand, I would be very happy though it is difficult to do it.

    1. Might work, as long as Torreira and Ziyech can play as half-wingers or mezzalas like De Bruyne and Silva. I never doubted Ndidi’s capabilities as a lone CDM, because he has been playing in that position for years and he is dominant aerially:

      ………………. Leno
      Niles . Saliba . Luiz . Tierney
      ………………. Ndidi
      …… Torreira …….. Ziyech
      Pepe ……………………… Martinelli
      ………….. Aubameyang

      However, Chambers was also excellent when playing as a lone CDM for Fulham. That’s why I prefer Arsenal strengthen other departments instead, such as adding a towering target man to vary our attacking methods

      1. Ziyech can definitely play occasionally on the wing as well. In fact, he started his career as a CAM but has mainly played as a right winger for Ajax.

  2. The singular fact that Torreira started half as many matches as Ndidi says it all. Look where Leicester is as well!

    Torreira is not a bad player by any stretch of the argument or imagination. No. But Ndidi is a better player and EPL proven too.

    And he’s also been to the World Cup as well!

    1. Well that was entirely down to UE playing him in the wrong position for ages and then not playing him at all, he looks a different player under arteta give him time, I’d love to see ndidi with us too but dont want rid of torriera

  3. The issues are, does Arteta think so, does he want him, and will his club sell?

    All the answers are blowing in the wind except, maybe, one. I know Leicester won’t sell. At least, not this season anyways. Not with their position and prospects for top four, and Ndidi’s contribution so far.

    Very long shot in my opinion…

  4. The player arsenal should go for is doucoure. And also keep toriera. To have 2 quality DMF would be perfect toriera is a great player and will get better under arteta let’s not forget its only been a few games. Understand emry he was played out of position basically.

    hakim ziyech

    These 2 players would make a huge difference at the end if the season.

  5. I will like to see Torreira given time. He is not smaller than Ngolo Kanye or Makelele. Same way Johny Evans and Cahill were not good enough for Arsenal. Now see what we have good.Add Ndidi to Torreira if possible. Torreira has qualities that Ndidi does not – as an attacking player!

  6. I would like arsenal to switch to a 4-1-2-3 formation(a 4-3-3 in other words).play xhaka as a lone DM.Ceballos and Ozil as AMs like what man city did with de bruyne and silva.That would give us more attacking power and quick ball recovery as we can press higher up the pitch.
    Is xhaka vulnerable as a lone DM?Maybe but still our defence is not bad now and xhaka is a deep lying playmaker

    1. I believe 4-3-3 is Arteta’s final formation, but Ozil has never played as mezzala. I believe Ozil must be tried in that position though

      I don’t know whether Xhaka would be a good lone CDM in 4-3-3 or not. But I don’t think Torreira would be impressive there, because his playing style is similar to Kante’s who has never played as a lone CDM

      A lone CDM in Barcelona’s, Real Madrid’s, Man City’s and Liverpool’s systems has to drop back to be a CB sometimes, when one of their fullbacks move forward to attack. That’s why they have Fabinho/ Fernandinho who are good aerially and Ndidi is perfect for that role

      1. I have seen ozil doing that in his RM days.Though he starts as 10 he has played as a cm even for germany.But the problem is one of the 2 attacking midfielders ceballos or ozil has to be a good tackler.If ceballos is ready to play dirty i think arsenal would be great on attacks with him linking with ozil.

        Xhaka’s role in the swiss national team is somewhat similar to a lone dm.I genuinely see him having a “rodri” role in arsenal team.

        And to be honest,peps team defensive capabilities are questionable.They have superb tactics.They have good attacking strength so they cover up their defensive weakness through goals.I think RM will give them a good fight in UCL.Klopps team is balanced that is why he is so successful.

  7. I think Chaka is vulnerable as a DM and Toreira is a better DM. Cerbalos and Ozil on both side of the DM is a problem for Ozil in terms of defensive duties. Remember Barca play this systems with Busquets as DM and Xaviand Iniesta on either side back in those days. Ozil does not have the energy of Xavi or Iniesta unless he continues to improve physically.
    MA should speak to Wenger. A few years ago he played Ozil high up that he scored his highest careers goals I think.

  8. What a silly article … Torreira is one of the few quality players we have in this squad … Worry about finding a quality right back centre back box to box midfielder first …

  9. “Emery found out how limited he was”…….Emery started playing him completely out of position that’s why his performances dropped.
    Regarding the stats, it just shows how they can lie when you don’t use all the indecies available, like Torriera starting half the number of games Ndidi has.

  10. I love Torrera but Ndidi is way way better, In my opinion Ndidi has been the best in his position for the past 3 season. WE can only wish we all know we are not going to get him.

    1. I also don’t want him going anywhere but if am to choose between Torrera and Ndidi Sue, I will definitely choose Ndidi. I really don’t know who is in charge of our recruitment, how come Leicester always seem to find the better players and we don’t.

      1. Don’t they say “The best things come in small packages” 😄
        I believe we struck gold. finding him, Lenohappy… plus both of his goals this season, have come against Liverpool, yay!!!! 💪

  11. Seems like Leicester are excellent at cultivating defensive midfielders. Ndidi is one of the main reasons Leicester are sitting pretty in second right now.

    Personally I would keep both players if that was an option. I still don’t think we’ve seen the best of Torreira – at previous clubs he was a lot more mobile and tenacious and could convert ball recovery in to attacking opportunities in a flash.

    I think we would see him at his best if he was put next to a solid CDM like Ndidi.

    Lose Xhaka instead.

  12. We simply have no money nor any smart.

    Smart would be

    1) Selling Torreira who is Napoli’s priority + Kolas they want + 40M on a Koulibaly swap!

    2) Sell Xhaka wanted for 30M

    3) Sell Auba wanted by Real for 60M. He won’t sign new deal anyhow

    That’s 50M.

    Buy Seri for 15, Kurzawa for 5M, buy Rabiot for 25M put remaining 5 on a decent RB back option for Bellerin, or get one on loan.

    Can’t have no option and use up Niles there. Technically we do not have a LB back up option for Kolas, Tierney is not, arriving injured, still til March so far, we aware of that since start of season for both flanks; and still linked to fullbacks; unreal stuff! Bellerin on his way back, we should look this way:

    Bellerin- Koulibaly Luiz- Kurzawa
    Serri Rabiot
    Pepe Laca Martinelli

    Instead of

    Bellerin Sokratis Luis Kolas
    Torreira Xhaka
    Pepe auba laca

    We mainly get a better midfield and indeed solving Central defense area as Reds did with Vandjike.

    Many options in Nelson, Willock, Mav, Holding, Saka, Niles, to work and combine with. Won’t miss Auba once Laca fires back and Martineli guns down in regular base!

    See, it takes to identify the real needs everyone can see and do smart business knowing we have a cheap owner.

  13. Gee, I am pretty sure that Leicester players will be very keen to switch over to Arsenal and forgo Champions League football.

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