22-year-old midfielder Lucas Torreira is undisputedly one of the brightest prospects of the 2018/19 season thus far. The Uruguayan international has seamlessly adjusted to life in England and he’s quickly attained fan-favourite status at the Emirates Stadium.
Unai Emery wasted very little time acquiring the players capable of executing his vision at Arsenal. Lucas Torreira was the most expensive of his five summer signings but he’s avoided making this a hindrance and has seized the moment in his debut campaign.
Torreira is recognized for his innate ability to foil opposing attacks with his adept understanding of the game and sheer bravery in the face of danger. However, the former Sampdoria midfielder has further amplified his reputation by scoring two crucial goals in his last three appearances.
His passionate shirtless celebration captured the intensity of the North London derby when he sealed three points with the fourth and decisive goal. But his sublime overhead kick in the dying stages against Huddersfield Town on Saturday has confirmed that Torreira could become the catalyst of the new-look Arsenal.
He’s an individual with limitless potential but remains grounded and solely focused on the team performance regardless of his surge to individual fame in recent weeks. Arsenal are currently enjoying an unbeaten run stretching to 21 matches in all competitions and remain firmly in the race for silverware.
They face a difficult tie against Tottenham Hotspur in the quarter-final of the League Cup on 18 December and have sealed their passage into the knockout phase of the UEFA Europa League. Torreira also sent The Gunners to within seven points of Premier League leaders Liverpool with his match-winning strike on Saturday, although European qualification is currently the main focus for Emery.
Why Torreira Is the Catalyst for the New-Look Arsenal?
Arsene Wenger provided the platform for success at Arsenal by implementing an aesthetically beautiful style of play and signing the calibre of players capable of executing his demands.
Sadly, the Frenchman was unable to modernise his approach and he subsequently lost his grasp on the Premier League in the latter stages of his iconic tenure. Players such as Aaron Ramsey, Mezut Ozil and Theo Walcott retained their places in the starting line-up far too frequently despite their persistent spells of inconsistency.
Arsenal lacked energy and the opposition began to exploit their predictable possession-orientated system. Unai Emery has rejuvenated the club in his brief spell as manager and Lucas Torreira is the perfect model of the future Arsenal.
The full-backs are encouraged to advance forward down the channels and the two defenders shift forward to create a high defensive-line. Therefore, Lucas Torreira and either Matteo Guendouzi or Granit Xhaka are required to station themselves close to the defence.
This defensive barrier compensates for the attacking nature of their full-backs and also supplies an option to bypass the opposition’s first line of defence. Too many midfielders have a tendency of hiding behind the opposition in the Premier League, but Torreira is always hungry to receive possession and play the ball forward into attacking areas.
His tenacity and energy combined with his adept understanding of the game makes him the perfect teammate. He’s capable of foiling opposing attacks but he also has the passing range and vision to control the tempo of the game and close out matches.
He’s also surprised himself by accumulating important goals in recent weeks. His strike against Tottenham Hotspur has set him on a roll and an incredible overhead kick against Huddersfield Town on Saturday has only increased the affection felt towards him by the supporters.
What Can Arsenal Achieve This Season?
Arsenal are positioned just seven points adrift of Premier League leaders Liverpool and only five points behind reigning champions Manchester City. The prospect of winning the league title is unlikely but Champions League qualification is crucial for The Gunners.
They’ve also confirmed their passage into the knockout phase of the UEFA Europa League. Arsenal have dropped points in just one of their opening five group matches and success in Europe’s second-tier competition could give the players a valuable taste for victory.
I believe that Arsenal are a working progress under Unai Emery, but they’re definitely heading in the right direction. They play exciting attacking football and Emery will eventually find the winning formula if he’s given time to perfect his squad at the Emirates Stadium.
The prospect of Guendouzi and Torreira partnering each other in the heart of midfield in the years to come is simply mouth-watering and a couple of acquisitions in the upcoming transfer market could prove decisive in their challenge for silverware.
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