Lucas Torreira has been nothing short of revelation at Arsenal since his arrival in the summer for around £22 million from Italian outfit Sampdoria.
The diminutive schemer uses his combative, lung-bursting style of play to see off danger in front of the Gunners’ defence and his distribution from that point is rarely wayward.
Torreira was one of the first signings brought in to the North London giants under the reign of Spanish coach Unai Emery and you won’t find many fans or indeed pundits who would disagree that he is so far proving to be the most influential of recruits.
Now, with the international break upon us and with Emery’s men not due for a game for little over a week when they travel to AFC Bournemouth, Uruguay ace Torreira, who is aged 22, is getting ready to represent his nation when they face Brazil at the home of his parent club, the Emirates Stadium, on Friday night.
Torreira, who was born in Fray Bentos and started his career with Pescara in his homeland, will bid to replicate his no-nonsense style that earned him so many plaudits in the World Cup in the summer in Russia before his switch to Arsenal.
And the player who already has his own song chanted from the terraces making light-hearted mention of his short stature, has spoken about the challenges he faces going up against Samba star Neymar, the PSG attacker, when the game gets under way (with an 8pm kick-off).
He told Arsenal’s official website:
“I have never had the chance of playing against him. A couple of years ago I played a tournament at Nou Camp with Sampdoria but Neymar didn’t feature. He is a great player and a joy to watch. He has a lot of fun with the ball at his feet, he does marvellous tricks, he entertains the crowd. We will try to play a good game.
“Brazil will have to be aware of our players and especially our world-class strikers. But we will have to be aware of Neymar. When Neymar gets the ball, it means danger. I was very happy when reports said the game against Brazil was going to be here at the Emirates. I am getting to know this fantastic stadium.”
Torreira is especially looking forward to showing his international team-mates around the stadium. He added:
“The Emirates is great and has a big capacity. My Uruguayan teammates asked me about playing at the ground and I told them my point of view as an Arsenal player. I am really looking forward to the game against Brazil. I hope it is a good game with a great attendance. I hope the supporters witness an enjoyable show.”
Arsenal supporters will hope the new hero will come through the game unscathed and be in fine fettle to take on the Cherries when the Premier League action resumes. If he can keep a lid on Neymar, the midfielder dynamo will go into the game with a certain extra confidence…