Arsenal: Lucas Torreira laid the foundation we needed to see

Arsenal, Lucas Torreira (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Arsenal, Lucas Torreira (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images) /

Arsenal may have only came out with a draw, but the Mikel Arteta effect saw the midfield bolstered in a big way, and Lucas Torreira can attest to that.

Mikel Arteta‘s first Arsenal midfield was populated by a bunch of misfits. Granit Xhaka, the disgraced captain; Mesut Ozil, the often ghost; Lucas Torreira, the misunderstood. All uniting to form a huge question mark that, by the end of the 90 minutes, had become a huge exclamation mark.

Each one of these guys shone in their own way, as I have Granit Xhaka taking home man of the match and my opinion of Mesut Ozil has skyrocketed the more I’ve thought about his performance, but Lucas Torreira found the new hope we (and he) have been looking for.

I don’t know why it’s been so hard to get the best out of the rambunctious Uruguayan, but against Bournemouth, he was at his best. He made a habit of waiting for opposing players to engage with Arsenal defenders, then swooping in and plucking the ball away, clean and tidy.

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It got to the point where I was expecting it every time a Cherry was tied up. Torreira was always there. But the best part wasn’t that he was so good winning the ball back. The best part was how well he took the ball and turned it the other way.

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Better yet, when he received the ball, how well he drove forward.

No one touched the ball more than him in the first half, and it was for good cause. He wanted it, and when he had it, he was present throughout the duration of the move. He let his influence sap to Granit Xhaka in the second half, but it was more of a trade off, the two working together as a beautiful tandem that we just haven’t seen in so long.

This midfield was the focal point of a lot of Unai Emery’s successes in his first year at the club. Why that fell through this year is anyone’s guess, but it makes sense that Mikel Arteta would be able to come in here and reestablish dominion at the position. These are three incredibly talented players and he maximized them all in one match.

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And Lucas Torreira has to be feeling good about this after such a murky start to his North London career. He was one of the best performers out there. When’s the last time we’ve been able to say that?