Opinion: Hopefully this isn’t the end of Torreira

Lucas Torreira will spend the rest of the season on loan at Atlético Madrid. 

The Uruguayan signed for Arsenal two seasons ago for £25m from Sampdoria but things haven’t quite worked out. 

Despite a positive start to his career in North London, the midfielder was mismanaged by former head coach Unai Emery and continually played out of position. Emery preferred a bigger player as his midfield anchor and opted to play Torreira further forward.

That continued into his second season but injury disrupted his season and he struggled to convince Mikel Arteta when the Spaniard arrived in December. An serious ankle injury ended his season early and by the time he returned to fitness, Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos had cemented themselves as the first-choice midfield. 

The arrival of Thomas Partey, who joins from Atlético Madrid, would have seen Torreira pushed further down the pecking order and so a move away from the Emirates was always likely this summer, although the Gunners were pushing for a permanent move.

The South American made 89 appearances scoring six goals – including THAT strike against Tottenham Hotspur – and providing six assists and leaves Arsenal with a FA Cup winner’s medal.

I think Torreira is a very talented player and could still have a future at Arsenal if he was played in a position that suits his strengths. Arsenal signed him on the back of an impressive season in Serie A as a defensive midfielder and an even better World Cup in the same position. 

He then came to Arsenal and was played in a different position in a slightly different system. It’s like buying a really good knife and then using it as a spoon and expecting it to work the same.

He is tenacious with and without the ball, incredibly busy and a general nuisance to play against in the right position and system. Compared to other players Arsenal were looking to offload I wouldn’t consider Torreira deadwood.

I really rate Torreira and I expect him to return to his best form in the system under Diego Simeone and I hope Mikel Arteta will be watching him closely to see if he has a role to play next season, part of me hopes this isn’t the end of Torreira and that a season away can help reignite his career.

If not then hopefully a good season in Spain will see him attract a good fee next summer.

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