Torreira: the Wrong Man in the Right Place at a Right Time. by AI
When Arsenal announced the signing of Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria, fans were justifiably hyped. He seemed to have all that Arsenal needed at the base of the midfield, that steel and strength, the garra charrua of old Uruguayan warriors gone. He was young, good, and proved to be a fan favourite in due time.
And as it often is with these fairytales, tragedy was just beyond the door. Set to play as an advanced option in a midfield with no sense of identity under Unai Emery, Lucas Torreira was abused. We (and he) began to lose the sense of what he did best: patrolling in front of the defense and shielding.
Largely restored to his role in a midfield pivot by Mikel Arteta, untimely niggling injuries took its toll and never allowed him to secure a good run in the team.
But nothing was as devastating as his glaring deficiency in the new tactical setup under Arteta: the deepest midfielder without great physicality nor ball progression skills. Dani Ceballos fitted Arteta’s progressive preferences better and proved to be good enough defensively, despite his slight frame.
Torreira is fine at defending. He is fine at passing the ball — but he’s no Xavi. While he could work as a pure defensive midfielder, Torreira unfortunately lacks the height and raw physical strength that are so important for that role. He has found himself in a no man’s land: not quite tactically fitting but still good for first team football.
There’s not too much to be sad at. He’s only 24 now and can still play a decent role in the team. He is also a sellable asset and can more than return back the investment Arsenal made with him in the transfer market. It’s not a loss at all, just an example of how changing visions at a club can quickly make fan favourites redundant. The midfield churn continues — nobody is safe.