Lucas Torreira Profile
|Born||Feb 11, 1996|
|Birthplace||Fray Bentos, Uruguay|
Lucas Torreira has become a key cog for his country at international level, he has progressed at club level too. Having gone from Serie B to La Liga, the sky's the limit for the talented midfielder.
Lucas Torreira is a footballer who plays in midfield for Spanish club Atletico Madrid, on loan from London giants Arsenal and the Uruguay national team. He started out in senior football by playing for Pescara in Serie B in Italy. He was transferred to Sampdoria in the summer of 2015 but was loaned back to Pescara for the 2015/16 campaign, where he played 29 times as he helped I Delfini [The Dolphins] to promotion to Serie A.
He returned to Sampdoria for the following season and became a regular in the side. In total, Torreira made 71 Serie A appearances prior to his move to Arsenal in 2018, scoring four goals and picking up one assist.
Torreira has made his name as a deep-lying midfielder who does the basics of the game well and is not particularly concerned with being the flashiest of players. He is not known for scoring many goals, having notched just 15 times in more than 200 career appearances to date.
Torreira's time in the Premier League
Torreira signed for Arsenal from Sampdoria in 2018, joining after Uruguay's exit from the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Arsenal paid a reported €28.65million for the services of the midfielder.
"In Lucas Torreira, we have signed a young player who is a very bright talent in the game," then-Arsenal head coach Unai Emery said upon the midfielder's arrival.
"A midfielder with great quality, I have enjoyed watching his performances for Sampdoria, and we all saw him do very well for Uruguay in the World Cup.
"He is a young player already with good experience, but who wants to keep on growing."
The tough-tackling midfielder enjoyed an impressive debut season for Arsenal under Emery, but the team was unable to secure qualification for the UEFA Champions League - missing out on the coveted top four in the Premier League by a single point. The Gunners had a second chance to take a Champions League place for 2019/20 through winning the Europa League, but eventually lost 4-1 to Chelsea in the final.
Midway through 2019/20, after a disappointing start to the season under Emery, Mikel Arteta took over as head coach and guided Arsenal to the FA Cup, beating Chelsea 2-1 in the final - a match for which Torreira was an unused substitute.
Torreira would not go on to be at the forefront of Mikel Arteta's plans, with an ankle injury in March 2020 hampering his progress. In the 2020/21 season, he went on loan to Atletico Madrid. Thomas Partey, meanwhile, moved from Atletico to Arsenal on a permanent deal.
"Lucas is honest and wants to leave his soul on the pitch, but that is defined by the coaches and for the current Arsenal manager he didn't count," Torreira's father, Ricardo, was quoted as saying to Libertad Digital via the Metro.
"Lucas wasn't on the bench because he wanted to be there, but by the decision of his coach.
"For a 24-year-old boy, recognised in Uruguay and around the world, the most necessary thing is to play. Arsenal decided that he wouldn't have minutes, but we promise, God willing, if everything goes well and if there's a coach at Arsenal who loves him when his contract with Atletico ends, he'll leave his soul there again if they want him."
Discussing the situation with Ladbrokes, former Arsenal player Gilberto Silva said: "I think Lucas Torreira had a good start to his career at Arsenal.
"He played some really good games, but then last season [2019/20] he played some not-so-good games and was dropped to the bench as a result.
"In the end he moved to Atletico Madrid on loan but I still believe he has a chance at Arsenal.
"At some point players will believe they don't have a chance at a team - especially when a new manager comes in - but Torreira definitely has quality. He's a great player."
Moving to Atletico
On 5 October 2020, Atletico Madrid announced the signing of Torreira on a loan deal with an option to buy. "He is a very hard-working boy, we are going to need him," Simeone said after his debut, a 2-0 win over Celta Vigo, as per the Metro.
"He competes very well, he will give us a lot of strength there in the middle of the pitch, when he obviously picks up the pace of the game.
"His speed characteristics, going out quickly in the circulation of the ball in the middle will generate more speed in that part of the middle of the pitch and well, hopefully he will find the best form."
Even after his impressive debut, Torreira was not always in the starting line-up, and he missed some games due to COVID-19. However, he continued to make regular appearances during the early stages of the season - including some off the bench.
Torreira's international career
Torreira earned his international breakthrough shortly before the 2018 FIFA World Cup and impressed in the colours of Uruguay at that tournament.
He played in all five of their games as they beat Saudi Arabia, Egypt and hosts Russia in the group stage before eliminating Portugal in the last 16, only to fall short at the hands of eventual tournament winners France in a 2-0 quarter-final defeat.
Torreira was quoted by the Metro after the World Cup as saying that he delayed his medical with Arsenal until after the tournament.
"Yes, we could have done things differently, but I did not want to think about other things. The World Cup is important and being part of this squad meant a lot to me," he said.
"But now I have more time, my future will be very clear.
"The important thing is that I'm happy to have been part of this squad and this World Cup, so I thank all the people who accompanied us."
Torreira has continued to play regularly for the Uruguay national team in the years which followed the 2018 World Cup.
The midfielder grew up in the coastal town of Fray Bentos in Uruguay, which was also the home of former Middlesbrough, Hull City and Southampton attacker, Gaston Ramirez.
Torreira is also of Spanish descent through his grandfather, meaning he would have also been eligible to represent Spain before he was capped by Uruguay.
Torreira is known for having several tattoos across his body. When Arsenal announced his signing, they alluded in a video on social media to the lion tattoo on his arm and used the hashtag #TimeForTorreira.
Torreira's precise net worth is not clear, but he reportedly signed a contract at Arsenal which put him on £50,000 a week as per Uruguayan media company Tenfield.