From the beginning it was clear that Mikel Arteta wanted change.
His midfield was not how he desired it to be and Lucas Torreira became a victim of the new ideas the Spaniard wanted to impose on Arsenal, often left confined to the Arsenal bench as Arteta began tweaking.
Life started well for Torreira under Arteta, but first team minutes slowly began to dissipate and then an ankle injury derailed his end to the season before being used fleetingly at best.
All throughout the summer, and indeed even 12 months prior, there was talk of a return to Italy and Serie A, a move Arsenal fans became resigned to taking place despite having become endeared by his battling performances and dedicated attitude on the pitch.
The term ‘Pit bull’ to describe an individual’s playing style is often overused, but it has never more adequately suited anyone like Torreira. However, needing to offload before they could buy, Arsenal eventually settled on a season-long loan move to Atletico Madrid with Thomas Partey moving the other way in a separate deal. Fans may have been smitten by him, but it was jump up in quality.
During his time in north London it became apparent that the Uruguayan struggled to adapt to the weather and the culture, but speaking to AS, it was the language barrier that affected him the most.
"“This [language] affects me a lot. I have two Uruguayan colleagues, a Uruguayan teacher, an Argentine coaching staff and language is an important factor, too.“I was in England for two years and that issue cost me, beyond that I was taking classes. I know that I came to Atletico Madrid, a club with a lot of hierarchy that fights important things, that also influenced this decision I made.”"
While Arsenal fans were pinning their hopes on the 24-year-old to be the next, admittedly much smaller, Patrick Vieira-esque midfield enforcer, sometimes the aspects beyond the football pitch can have too strong a bearing.
His performances dipped after a strong start to life at Arsenal, in the end losing some of the bite which made him a firm fan favourite. Unai Emery’s decision making didn’t help the process, nor did niggling injuries.
He’ll return to Arsenal at the end of the season unless Atletico choose the purchase option, but it does appear his time with the Gunners has come to an end, as with Arteta restructuring the spine of his team, there appears no place for him. Everyone wishes him well, though, no doubt about that.