HIS shirt quantity is misleading.
In any case, gamers carrying 11 have been historically lithe, spring-heeled left wingers, gamers who might get the gang leaping out of their seats on a very good day, or just disappear after they weren’t bang on it.
However at Arsenal, the brand new No 11 is a really totally different proposition.
And plenty of Gooners are more and more assured that Lucas Torreira will show the lacking hyperlink they’ve been crying out to see in a crimson shirt for a lot of the previous decade.
In fact, not since Gilberto Silva left for Panathinaikos in 2008 have Arsenal had a dependable, constant and targeted holding midfielder.
Arsene Wenger’s soccer imaginative and prescient was all in regards to the lovely recreation, but he appeared to neglect that his most profitable groups had a coronary heart of pure stone.
It was a relentless gripe, a transparent frailty, regularly uncovered by prime grade opponents – and even too many lesser groups.
But with the £26.4m summer season signing from Sampdoria starting to seek out his ft within the Arsenal ranks below new boss Unai Emery, the hope that the Uruguayan could possibly be precisely what the Gunners want is beginning to take root.
At 5ft 6in, the Uruguayan isn’t any Gilberto clone. Something however.
He’s not about energy and athleticism.
However neither was Claude Makelele. Neither is N’golo Kante, two unquestioned masters of the position.
Torreira has extra beef on him than both of these Frenchmen. Extra muscle. He’s a human pit-bull in form.
But what is obvious about his performances since arriving in England is that he is aware of when to make the important thing, crucial actions. Learn how to intercept. What must be executed.
Torreira, bear in mind, remains to be solely 22. He didn’t begin the World Cup for Uruguay.
However as soon as he got here into the facet for the ultimate group recreation with Russia, anchoring the Three-Zero victory, he turned himself right into a fixture. Coaches like Oscar Tabarez don’t choose younger gamers on sentiment.
Statistics may be misleading. In any case, whereas Arsenal are on a nine-game successful run, they’ve all been in opposition to groups they’d count on to beat. And adopted on from again to again defeats to open the marketing campaign in opposition to Manchester Metropolis and Chelsea.
Torreira, although, performed simply 20 minutes of the opening recreation, the second half of the journey to Stamford Bridge. Even then, he was, solely gingerly, discovering his ft.
Over the season up to now, Arsenal have scored 11 and conceded 10 when Torreira isn’t on the pitch.
With him concerned, they’ve scored 18 and conceded simply three.
There may be even the suggestion – it could be a hope slightly than a actuality – that the arrival of Torreira, releasing Granit Xhaka from a few of the defensive tasks that threatened to overwhelm him, will permit the Swiss to change into the participant Wenger believed he had signed three seasons in the past.
Greater assessments are forward, in fact.
Even with a defensive display screen, prime sides will fancy their probabilities of exposing what should still be a smooth defensive underbelly, though the sight of Laurent Koscielny again on the coaching floor after six months on the sidelines shall be one other increase for Gunners followers.
Arsenal face Liverpool at residence originally of subsequent month, with video games in opposition to Spurs after which United within the house of 4 days firstly of December.
These video games will inform us extra.
However for now, Torreira is as a lot the face of Emery’s Arsenal as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Mesut Ozil.
And, maybe, he might show to be crucial side in a facet that’s determined to get again into the highest 4, if not even higher.