Arsenal boss confirms 22-year-old could start against Chelsea

By on August 17, 2018

Unai Emery has confirmed Lucas Torreira could make his full debut when Arsenal travel to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea on Saturday evening.

The midfielder joined from Sampdoria shortly after the World Cup but was given an extended break following his exploits in Russia and he enjoyed a holiday with his friends and family in South America.

Torreira was only named as a substitute during our opening weekend defeat to Manchester City at the Emirates as he wasn’t deemed fit enough to start having only began his pre-season preparations at the start of the month.

However, the Uruguayan international made an impressive 20 minute cameo appearance off the bench against City and has continued to work on his fitness in training this week.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow evening’s trip to west London, Emery has confirmed the 22-year-old is now in good shape and could make his full debut against Chelsea.

Emery told Arsenal.com:

“Yes, he is okay every day and is training good. He is now with the team and knowing and learning English conversation with us and can understand all the things we want to do tactically on the pitch.

“He is okay, the first match against City he played 15 to 20 minutes and I think this is good, I want to continue with him improving and to be okay to play.”

Torreira developed in to one of the best defensive midfielders in Italian football during his time with Sampdoria and Emery says he can play as a number 6 or a little further forward as a number 8.

The boss continued:

“We can speak about the No 6, the No 8 and the No 10 [roles]. Torreira today is a six, eight. Normally every player has two positions – Torreira is six, eight. Maybe also Elneny is six and eight. Xhaka maybe also six, eight. Matteo [Guendouzi] maybe six, eight or eight, six.

“Maybe another player, a more attacking player like Aaron Ramsey, he is more of an eight, 10 – but this possibility to play with two or three midfielders, it depends on each match whether to change or not and the demand in each match. Whether we can do one midfielder more either more attacking or more defensive, it depends.”

Fans expect Torreira to be the defensive midfielder we’ve been crying out for in recent years so I hope Emery plays him in his best position in front of the defence and doesn’t tinker too much with his role.

It will be interesting to see how we line-up in the middle of the park against Chelsea as Matteo Guendouzi impressed last week while Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey are expected to keep their places – although I hope Rambo is deployed in a deeper role as he didn’t influence the game playing off the striker last week.