Paul Merson: What I truly think of Lucas Torreira at Arsenal
Paul Merson delivers his verdict on Lucas Torreira's impact since arriving at Arsenal in the summer
Paul Merson has heaped praise on Lucas Torreira for the impact he has had since his arrival at Arsenal in the summer.
The Uruguay international has been settling in well to life at The Emirates following his move from Serie A side Sampdoria as one of Unai Emery’s first signings at The Emirates.
Torreira initially made something of a slow start to life at the north London club but he has been earning rave reviews for his performances in recent weeks.
The 22-year-old has scored two goals and made two assists in 16 Premier League games so far, including netting the winner against Huddersfield Town last weekend.
Torreira has slotted seamlessly into the heart of Arsenal’s midfield, and former Gunner Merson feels that the north Londoners have needed a player of his type for many years.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Merson said of Torreira: “They’ve been crying out for someone like him since Gilberto Silva and Patrick Vieira. He gets around people, closes players down, gets everybody fighting. He’s not a natural passer, but he sets the tempo.
“I’ve said all along, for years and years; Arsenal are one of the best teams in the world with the ball. But for the last four or five years they’ve been one of the worst in the world without the ball. He has changed that.
“When Torreira gets around people, it’s a domino effect, and everybody else rallies and gets around the opposition players.
“And his attitude is great; he leaves nothing on the pitch and gets stuck in. He gets people going. He’s done absolutely outstandingly well, and came up with two massive goals in the last couple weeks.”
Merson added: “Liverpool wouldn’t buy him tomorrow morning, I wouldn’t have thought any of the top four would. He can and will get better, but he’s done great.
“They needed it, we all knew that, Arsene Wenger knew it but he was too stubborn to go and get someone.
“He could be playing at Southampton and wouldn’t get a mention, or Burnley. No-one would mention it. It’s just that Arsenal needed it so badly.”
Torreira will be expecting to feature for Arsenal when the Gunners return to Premier League action on Sunday with a trip to Southampton.
The former Sampdoria man will be hoping to help the north London side to finish in the top four this season after they ended up sixth and without a trophy under Arsene Wenger last term.