Arsenal signed the 22-year-old midfielder Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria on a long-term contract in the summer transfer window for a fee believed to be in the region of £25 million. The Uruguayan international impressed at 2018 FIFA World Cup held in Russia and featured in all of his country’s matches. And he could be the next Santiago Cazorla.
Brilliant cameo from Torreira. Surely this shows he’s now ready to start.
— gunnerblog (@gunnerblog) September 2, 2018
The Uruguayan midfielder is yet to start a Premier League match under Unai Emery. However, he played a big role in the Gunners’ away win at Cardiff City Stadium while instantly drawing comparisons to the veteran Spanish midfielder Santi Cazorla who joined Villareal on a free transfer this summer.
Torreira came on as a substitute in the second half when the scores were level. The midfielder made quick impact by providing a defense splitting pass to Alexandre Lacazette in the 81st minute who scored the winner by blasting the ball into the roof of the net.
Lacazette had all the time to take his shot as the defenders were seen stranded by that pass from the new arrival. Similarly, Torreira provided a through ball to Aubameyang against Chelsea, but the Gabon international was caught offside before putting the ball in the net.
Ball Winning Ability
Arsenal craved for a natural ball winner for years, Cazorla was never seen putting in slide tackles. However, he did possess the ability to win the ball back with standing tackles notably at the away game at Etihad stadium in 0-2 win over Manchester City few years back.
Clive “Xhaka has finished the last few games strong because of his partner. Torreira can sprint to the bull, tackle quickly and move the ball quickly which compliments Xhaka better” pic.twitter.com/nbhgoe9Ffw
— Aido (@HandofEmery) September 5, 2018
Torreira fits in comfortably in that section as he’s a proven ball winner and gives a little more defensive stability than the former Arsenal star, as he is known for his ball winning ability from his stint at Sampdoria followed by solid defensive performances at 2018 World Cup.
Close Control on ball
The Spaniard’s one of the important traits was his control on the ball to dictate the play. Most of the midfielders would just pass the ball to the nearest teammate after winning it back, but the case was different for Cazorla.
Th defensive midfielder was noticed keeping close control on the ball and darting forward with it against Cardiff City on Saturday. Notably also against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in 2nd half. A little more confidence in the midfielder would do wonders in the midfield for the North London club.
Arsenal has been spilling many goals from the midfield through mispasses for past two seasons, which led to bitter defeats in which the defeat to the fierce rivals Manchester United at Emirates Stadium. This was rarely a case with Cazorla in midfield, his passing accuracy made him a complete midfielder.
Meanwhile, the youngster put in a solid performance with completing 100% of attempted passes, and 2/2 accurate long balls. Though he played only for 20 minutes, if Lucas continues to put in such performances, then Arsenal’s midfield problems could be solved.
Short But Strong
Often, the short players are considered not so strong to win duels on the pitch, most importantly when it’s comes to Aerial duels. Cazorla was hardly seen winning aerial duels, but he was good in simple duels on the pitch and couldn’t be muscled off the ball easily.
Torreira has a bit of an edge over the spaniard in this department. He won 6/6 duels in the match against Cardiff on Saturday within a span of mere 20 minutes on the pitch. A strong midfielder is the need of the hour for Arsenal, and the presence of Uruguayan midfielder can make things tick for Unai Emery.