5 minutes into the north London derby and Lucas Torreira had clattered Dele Alli. That problem set the tone.
Digital camera perspective cleverly confirmed Alli towering over his fellow midfielder, however in the long run, it was Torreira who stood tallest.
The tenacious Uruguayan had the ultimate say, netting the fourth aim to seal a 4-2 win. It was his first for Arsenal and he celebrated with the identical intense method during which he performs. Wild eyed and naked chested, he roared with delight, sliding on his knees, his ardour was apparent.
Torreira has solely been with Arsenal a matter of months, however he’s already a fan favorite and embodies a lot of what they’re turning into underneath Unai Emery.
For too lengthy, the Gunners have been thought-about good, groups didn’t worry them. Arsene Wenger would bemoan a choice or a foul consequence, however the type which had received so many plaudits over time, started to favour substance.
“The staff is and was too good,” former defender Bacary Sagna mentioned. “They by no means favored to argue. We have been simply too good to one another, we have been like pals.”
Whereas they lacked a ruthless streak for a sustained interval underneath the Frenchman, Emery has put in it and Torreira has performed a significant function in that.
Arsenal are unbeaten in 21 matches. They’re but to lose when Torreira has began and having begun the primary 5 matches as an alternative, he’s now a fixture of their facet. At £22million, he’s rightly thought-about a cut price and a powerful contender for signing of the season.
For years, Arsenal longed for a combative central midfielder. Patrick Vieira has been gone for 13 years, Gilberto Silva a decade.
“Torreira and Vieira couldn’t be extra totally different when it comes to dimension and stature however their drive and dedication is strictly the identical,” mentioned Gunners legend Martin Keown.
“He recognises that to win titles, it’s essential to squeeze each drop of tenacity and fervour from the squad.”
“These are the qualities that each profitable Arsenal staff has possessed. In Torreira, Emery has slightly dynamo on the pitch who units the usual.”
Standing simply 5 foot 5, the comparability isn’t a bodily one, however Torreira shares a lot of the qualities that helped outline Vieira. On this case dimension doesn’t matter.
Keown isn’t the one former membership legend to indicate his appreciation for Torreira.
“[Torreira is] the man we have now been on the lookout for up to now three or 4 seasons,” Ian Wright just lately mentioned. “Arsenal supporters wished to know when are we going to signal a defensive midfielder. We’ve got acquired the man we would have liked.
“He was magnificent [against Tottenham]. The best way he performs, he’s in all places on the pitch. He will get into positions the place he can get into folks.”
Wright’s former striker companion, Kevin Campbell thinks Torreira has improved his team-mates.
“I imagine he’s made such an influence, not solely is he such participant, I believe he’s impacted Granit Xhaka and people round him,” he mentioned.
Whereas a lot of his defensive work can go unnoticed and his diminutive body generally makes it seem as if he’s buzzing round in a mindless method, Torreira is greater than only a ball winner.
He adopted up his aim in opposition to Spurs with an help within the 2-2 draw at Manchester United. His cross price is often across the 90 per cent mark.
An overhead kick proved decisive in a 1-Zero win over Huddersfield City.
Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno praised him following the match on Saturday: “He’s unimaginable, he’s a fighter, he’s so necessary for our sport, for the entire defence and he did one other excellent sport at present.”
His former membership Sampdoria additionally acquired in on the act and despatched Arsenal a message on social media.
“Word to all Arsenal followers: please don’t clog up our match tweets at present thanking us for Lucas Torreira.” they mentioned on their Twitter web page.
And grateful they need to be, as a result of finally their downside has been solved. If having to endure the likes of Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny to land somebody of Torreira’s calibre has been prolonged, than their persistence has lastly been rewarded.
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And right here’s what some followers have been tweeting concerning the ‘signing of the season’.
“If the followers are evaluating me and my sport to Patrick Vieira, that’s wonderful,” Torreira instructed Sky Sports activities. “It makes me very proud however I have to develop a bit earlier than I might be as tall as him!
“However he’s a tremendous participant, I bear in mind getting up within the mornings in Uruguay to look at him. I really feel very completely happy and am seeking to assist the staff.”