Enough is enough: It’s time for Unai Emery to unleash this tenacious £26.5m Arsenal star

Why Lucas Torreira should start games for Arsenal

Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira injured himself while playing for Uruguay in Friday’s friendly match against Mexico, reports the Metro.

Torreira, 23, played for only 45 minutes and was replaced because he got injured in the game which Uruguay comfortably won 4-1. The midfielder was pictured wearing an ice pack on his left leg on the bench and that could be a real setback for Unai Emery if the player ends up on the sidelines for a long time.

Torreira, a £26.5m signing from Sampdoria, has been eased into the Arsenal team by new manager Unai Emery after a delayed return from the World Cup. He has made an appearance from the bench in all four of Arsenal’s opening Premier League games – while his most recent cameo display came against Cardiff City last weekend, where he provided the assist for Alexandre Lacazette’s 82nd-minute winner.

It is surprising to see Torreira being left out of the starting XI by Emery when the Uruguayan was expected to slot straight into Arsenal’s midfield after arriving from Sampdoria. The diminutive midfielder has so far been playing second fiddle to Matteo Guendouzi and Granit Xhaka.

Granit Xhaka hasn’t justified his place in the starting XI as his careless use of the ball resulted in a misplaced pass from which Cardiff scored from the resulting attack. There are many reasons to be frustrated by Xhaka as the Switzerland international’s inconsistency throughout last season resulted in a number of errors leading to goals and he still remains prone to fatal errors.

Xhaka’s lapses in concentration and poor ball retention have increased the calls for Torreira to start games for Arsenal. At Cardiff, Torreira came on in the second half and barely put a foot wrong. He completed 26 out of 26 passes, made three top tackles and even claimed an assist for Lacazette’s winner.

It is really difficult to understand what Torreira must do now to earn a starting berth. In fact, the player himself could be baffled at not getting to start games for Arsenal despite doing his best and proving his worth to Emery.

When Arsenal return after the international break, Emery should carefully consider the structure of his midfield and make a selection. After underwhelming performances from Xhaka, it is time Torreira starts for Arsenal.

Read more: Why Arsenal must go all out to land this talented dribbler for who €35m bids were rejected in the summer

Torreira, an excellent defensive midfielder with the technical qualities to influence the game, is very effective in moving the ball quickly and deserves a spell in the starting XI. For all the money the Gunners have spent on the diminutive Uruguayan in the summer, it is time for Emery to unleash him, but the Spanish manager will first hope Torreira’s injury isn’t serious.

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