Arsenal’s midfield is still composed of the same people it was last year, and even with the reinstatement of Lucas Torreira, the question must be asked.
Arsenal have a lot of positions that are actually pretty well set. Winger? Check. Striker? More or less. Fullbacks? Absolutely. Midfield? Sure. But there is one question about the midfield that continues to linger—on the defensive side of things, is Lucas Torreira enough?
Torreira was outcasted under Unai Emery and we made due largely without a defensive midfielder at all. But it’s clear and obvious that having that defensive presence in the midfield is invaluable, and Torreira is providing that yet again.
That’s why the question isn’t ‘is Lucas Torreira good enough?’ or ‘should we sell Lucas Torreira?’ the question is if he can do all the defensive work all on his own.
What we really need is an extra defensive touch in the middle of the pitch. So to say, Lucas Torreira isn’t enough. But it’s at no fault of his own.
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The situation is just bigger than Torreira can handle. He’s one guy. We play in four competitions a year and we should have the quality to compete in all of them. Torreira just isn’t enough to stratch that far, especially with the frequent injuries he picks up. Small injuries, but any matches missed are matches where we don’t have a defensive midfielder.
Plus, Torreira is a different kind of defensive midfielder. He gets forward a lot too and utilizes a lot of athleticism. Adding someone like Thomas Partey or Denis Zakaria would be absolutely perfect. I’m keen on the latter because of his Swiss connection to Xhaka, as well as the Monchengladbach connection, and the fact that he isn’t someone who would have to be involved in every single match. He could compete for time, just like everyone else where.
Three is a tough number for a midfield that operates in twos. With Xhaka, Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi, we have one and a half pairs or one trio. That’s not a lot of depth. And there’s nothing much coming up from the youth ranks in this position either.
More would be advisable. It’s not pressing, and it won’t be the first thing on the list, but it should be taken seriously. We need it.