Lucas Torreira Is Giving Arsenal Exactly What They Need In Midfield

Arsenal have probably lacked real bite in midfield since the likes of Gilberto Silva and Patrick Vieira departed The Gunners and that was back in 2008 and 2005!

It was hoped that new manager Unai Emery would change things but after the opening two games people were a tad sceptical as Arsenal struggled to get the ball away from Manchester City and Chelsea.

But for those of us that had seen new signing Lucas Torreira previously, we had an inkling that the Uruguayan could be the man that would add more steel into The Gunners midfield. Interestingly, the former Sampdoria man didn’t start in either two of those opening fixtures.

As Arsenal started to get used to Emery’s style, the better the team have become. They haven’t lost a Premier League game since those two early defeats, meaning they’ve now gone nine games unbeaten and are currently inside the all important top four.

Emery remained a bit cautious with Lucas, giving him just cameos in the first five league games. He finally gave the twenty-two year old his first English top flight start of the season against Everton towards the end of September and the youngster hasn’t been dropped since.

You can see just why the club splashed out £26.4m for the midfielder.

He remains diligent and disciplined when the opposition have the ball. Torreira doesn’t lose concentration like Granit Xhaka has in the past.

Today against Liverpool, Torreira was like the Energizer bunny as he ran about all game marshalling in front of his defence. At one point he made two terrific tackles in the space of as many minutes. He had a 100% tackling success rate against The Reds and was a key man as his side managed to get back in the game and get a draw from the game. Arsenal would’ve lost big games like that in the past but they look tougher mentally this season under Unai.

The midfielder is also very efficient with his passing. His passing success rate is up at 89% so far this term and it was better than any Liverpool midfielder today! The Gunners man also made more passes than any opposition midfielder.

Another factor that Torreira has brought to the team is that Xhaka is playing like a different player. The Swiss midfielder is getting on the ball more and making more successful tackles, he’s doing better because he knows he has a reliable partner in Lucas playing beside him. The midfield looks a lot more solid having  two good sitters in there.

Lucas has said recently that he enjoys playing with his fellow holding midfielder:

“Granit is a player that I link up a lot with in the midfield and he covers lot of ground on the pitch,”

“He occupies space really well and is important to the defensive balance of the team, which the manager knows.”

Another plus is Torreira’s attitude. When he has the ball or when he wins it, his first thought is to get the ball forward to the creative players. The Uruguayan has good vision and transition is quicker when he’s in the middle dictating play. He also not scared to take the ball forward himself or have a crack from distance!

Lucas Torreira is a confident young man and he knows and plays to his strengths. His discipline, positivity and his passing gives Arsenal such a stronger spine in midfield. Hence their upturn in form!

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