Lucas Torreira’s move to Arsenal was seen as a big one for both parties. His time at Sampdoria had been a fruitful one under Marco Giampaolo and he was expected to drive on at Arsenal by using his abilities to the best. That promise has faded for a variety of reasons, but a potential move to Milan could help him rescue his old self.
It is being stated that the Uruguayan has been offered to the rossoneri, as he seeks a Gunners exit. This isn’t the first time that Torreira is being linked with a Milan move as Giampaolo was keen on signing the midfielder last summer too. But a move at this point would really help Torreira get his career back on track, spending more time doing well on the pitch rather alongside the best online casinos rather than just the latter.
New Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has been emphasising on a technical approach to the game. Dani Ceballos became the club’s regular defensive midfielder before Covid-19 stopped the game. Under Arteta, Torreira has been a regular but he’s been far from his best.
At Sampdoria in Giampaolo’s famous 4-3-1-2 shape, Torreira was the club’s regular defensive midfielder. Playing alongside the likes of Ronaldo Vieira, Albin Ekdal or Karol Linetty, Torreira won as many as 2.9 tackles per 90 minutes in each of his two seasons at the club. In the 2016-17 season, he made 2.5 interceptions per 90 minutes and it stood at 2.9 in the 2017-18 campaign.
He would keep his passing simple, keeping Giampaolo’s possession-based simple ticking. He played around 51 passes per 90 minutes in each of the seasons, proving that he wasn’t just key in winning the ball back. He was just as important in allowing the play to flow to attacking areas.
He was expected to bring the same to Arsenal. And he did have some very good games under Unai Emery and it was typified by his goal against Tottenham. But over time, Emery’s confusion with his midfield players saw him often use Torreira in an unusual role for the Uruguayan. He won 2.5 tackles per 90 minutes last season and that number stood at 1.9 per 90 minutes this season. That is lower than the two seasons at the Luigi Ferraris.
Last year, he gave a rather damning interview about his time in England. He told Ovacion (via FootballItalia): “I don’t think there are many things I enjoy here in England. I think it was better in Italy. England is a totally different world, it’s a very large country.
“The language barrier has been a problem, as I’ve had trouble relating to my teammates and the people around me. It is very difficult when you can’t dialogue with anyone.”
This shows that while he wasn’t enjoying life back then, the recent speculation indicates the same.
At Milan, Giampaolo’s turbulent exit saw Stefano Pioli arrive in equally turbulent circumstances. After sticking to the 4-3-3, Pioli changed to a 4-4-2 and a 4-2-3-1. Ismael Bennacer has had an impressive season, now playing in a box-to-box role. Franck Kessie has been playing deeper, but Milan have still lacked a proper ball-winner in the heart of the park.
Rade Krunic has been a bit-part player, having arrived from Empoli along with Bennacer himself. But the Algerian and Kessie have been the first-choice midfield pairing. While Bennacer has won 2.6 tackles per 90 minutes and has 3.3 dribbles per 90 minutes to be his usual self, but he’s not someone who sits in and does that recovery job.
The need for that sort of player saw Milan pursue Florentino Luis from Benfica, but the deal couldn’t go through. But it does show that the rossoneri are looking for a player in the Torreira mould- someone who can break up play and recycle the ball forward.
In Italy, Torreira will be back at a place where he knows the language and somewhere he’s thrived in the past. He will play in a preferred position and get to play on a regular basis. While Giampaolo isn’t at the San Siro anymore, Torreira will play the role he loves with Bennacer often patrolling forward. It would be a move that rescues his career and gets him on the right track.