Lucas Torreira looked as if he was going to light up the Emirates for years to come because his initial performances showed great promise. Sven Mislintat had managed to persuade the Arsenal board to go against the preferred choice of Unai Emery of Steven N’zonzi and first impressions were that it was an inspired move from the star sniffing German.
Torreira put in a stellar performance against Spurs in December 2018 and scored a superb 77th-minute goal, which seemed to indicate the Gunners had found a new hero. However, months later, he couldn’t hold down a regular slot and seemed disillusioned with life in North London.
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) December 2, 2018
Recently, in an interview with FOX Sports Argentina (via The Sun), he has voiced his desire to play for Boca Juniors and this follows a previous yearning to play in Italy. For someone who is focused and committed to his Arsenal career, he tends to want to be in any number of places that aren’t North London.
With his inability to perform regularly on the pitch, it wouldn’t surprise me if the latest rumours, as reported by Spanish newspaper Sport, of Arsenal’s interest in Espanyol midfielder Marc Roca (23) at a cost of around £35m had some credibility.
It’s a suggestion that has been rubbished in some quarters, but there is a favourable twist for Arsenal because it’s thought that with relegation looming, Espanyol will have to sell Marc Roca and possibly at a lower figure than the one I mentioned.
Sadly, it’s a case of survival for Espanyol or the loss of a player, something that Arsenal knows a lot about, after selling off their finest talents to pay off creditors due to the decision to relocate to the Emirates.
Liverpool and Everton are said to be interested in the player but no contact has been established yet. Arsenal’s interest is at an early stage as the men in suits calculate the best options of how to invest the money from the sale of up to six regular first-team players.
They are also having to contend with cutting a deal to offload Henrikh Mkhitaryan to Roma and look for an alternative address for Mo Elneny, who has an ongoing wages dispute with the current loan club Besiktas. He is owed €1.3m by Besiktas and is at the point of refusing to play and vowing to return to London. This has prompted speculation that the Egyptian midfielder could be used in the DM role as an existing and less expensive option to replace Lucas Torreira, which won’t excite the majority of Arsenal fans.
Speculation around the preferred option of Thomas Partey (Atletico) continues, with Arsenal said to have made a tentative inquiry but nothing more. The player is said to be interested in a move and various sources indicate that’s the case, but it will all be down to the negotiators of both clubs to make it work in their favour. That’s the hard part.
Arsenal have Premier League ready options available if they chose to take them in the form of Declan Rice (West Ham) and Matty Longstaff (Newcastle). Elsewhere, there is the talented Rennes teenager Eduardo Camavinga (17), but none of these options are cheap.
If the Partey deal doesn’t get off the ground, then I think you can stand back and correctly anticipate Arsenal’s next move to replace Torreira. That’s right, the cheap one, Elneny.