Lucas Torreira is unhappy about the new role manager Unai Emery has devised for him.
Following his impressive displays for Uruguay at the 2018 World Cup, Torreira was badly wanted by Napoli. Nonetheless, he arrived at the Emirates for just over £26 million, as a specialist defensive midfielder of great ability to read the game and intercept, to stop opposition players, as well as to distribute the ball.
But Emery has recently used him in a more advanced midfield role, needing a player of influence to get the ball forward as the importance of Mesut Ozil to this team slowly dwindles. And that, according to his agent, has made the former Sampdoria man unhappy, though Raffaele Bentancur, the man who represents him, did admit his client was overall ‘happy at Arsenal’, as quoted by the Evening Standard.
While it may seem unfair to expect Torreira to perform well in a role he was not brought into to play, it should also be said that most midfielders in the top clubs these days are extremely versatile. For example, at Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, Jordan Henderson used to play as the number six before the addition of Fabinho to their ranks. Georginio Wijnaldum, Naby Keita and Adam Lallana have also played right in front of the back four, despite all three being attacking midfielders in essence. Let’s not even talk about James Milner. In Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City team, Rodri, Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden have all played in different midfield roles, often keeping the opposition coaches on their toes.
To cut the long story short, Torreira will simply have to learn to live with being played in different positions in the middle of the park, no different than Matteo Guendozi or Granit Xhaka, should the former captain remain at the club after the January transfer window.
During the summer, Torreira was linked with AC Milan, whose interest is said not to have abated.