Lucas Torreira: Why the Uruguayan Midfielder Could Become Arsenal’s New Patrick Vieira

​Lucas Torreira has enjoyed an outstanding start to his Arsenal career. The 22-year-old has been decisive in the Gunners midfield, winning seemingly every tackle he puts in. He even got his name on the scoresheet in the recent 4-2 north London derby win against Tottenham, and netted the winner against Huddersfield last time out.

His early success has led to comparisons to one of Arsenal’s greatest midfielders and captain of the Gunners’ Invincibles team, Patrick Vieira. The legendary Frenchman was known for his intensity on the field, tough tackling, box-to-box energy and general creativity – traits that helped him inspire three Premier League title wins.

Arsenal v Newcastle United

Such comparisons put an immense amount of pressure on Torreira, but it’s easy to see why Arsenal fans are getting increasingly excited by the performances of their summer signing from Sampdoria.

The Uruguayan is more than capable of operating as a classic number 6 or 8, much like Vieira did for the majority of his career with Arsenal. Whilst protecting the back four is the main modus operandi, advancing forwards and creating opportunities at the other end of the pitch falls well within his midfield remit.

There is no question that Torreira is willing to put himself around, as demonstrated with his combative recent showing against Crystal Palace. He won all four tackles that he attempted against the Eagles, showing an insatiable thirst for regaining possession. He also provided four clearances for his side, and intercepted the ball three times – impressive numbers for any midfielder, let alone a young midfielder adapting to first year in top flight English football.

Not only can Torreira provide defensive quality though, but he has shown a knack to get forward when needed and influence the game with an assist or a goal. His elegant pass to Alexandre Lacazette against Cardiff showed he has touch and finesse, allow the former Lyon striker to turn home the ball at the near post. His first goals for the club have followed soon after, in back-to-back games.

His goal in the north London derby against Tottenham perhaps demonstrates that he will turn out to be a player for the big occasion, and that’s exactly what Torreira will need to do if he is to turn out to be anything like Vieira on the pitch.

Arsenal FC v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

Arsenal have longed for a strong, resilient central midfielder to take a firm grip of proceedings since Vieira’s departure in 2005, and in Torreira, that may well have found exactly what they were looking for.

Whether he keeps this early promise going is another matter, but the Gunners will be counting on the young Uruguayan to anchor the midfield as they search for their first Premier League title since 2004. The player himself will be hopeful of continuing his adaptation to the English game as quickly as possible, and who knows, maybe he could become the legendary midfielder that supporters would like him to be.


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