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Lucas Torreira is the new N’Golo Kante, maybe.

Arsene Wenger might have encouraged some of the world’s most aesthetically pleasing football.

But the lasting memory of the second half of his tenure will be all about his failure to install any steel to go with the midfield artistry.

Within months of taking the reigns, Unai Emery might have found the man to do the dirty work while the creatives do their thing.


Getty Images – Getty

Who gave this child an Arsenal shirt?

Lucas Torreira has been a revelation in Emery’s system this season as the defensive foil partnering and protecting Granit Xhaka when he decides to do something ridiculous.

After a brief experiment with 19-year-old Mateo Guendouzi at the beginning of the season Emery realised that maybe his £25m international midfield rottweiler might be the answer.

And he has been resoundingly proved right.

Arsenal can rest easy knowing they finally have a CDM that they can rely and one that will allow the four attackers on the pitch to thrive without worrying about getting stung if they lose the ball.

Ozil is invisible whether you cover your eyes or not Lucas

Getty – Contributor

Ozil is invisible whether you cover your eyes or not Lucas

And the stats back him up, while Torreira has been on the pitch Arsenal have been purring with the attacking unit operating with more ruthless efficiency than a German car factory.

In the 442 minutes Arsenal have been without Torreira on the pitch this season they have scored just nine goals and conceded 10.

However during the 548 minutes the Uruguayan was on the field the Gunners have racked up 20 goals and let in only three.

That is an impact we haven’t seen since N’golo Kante made Leicester AND Chelse into title winning teams.

Do not let Granit out of your sight

Getty – Contributor

Do not let Granit out of your sight

The beauty of Torreira is that for a position where his main responsibility is tackling, harrying and generally getting physical with the opponent, he is usually by far and away the smallest player on the pitch.

At 5ft6in you would be forgiven for thinking Arsenal had let an actual schoolboy onto the pitch.

In proving size truly doesn’t matter it is Torreira’s positioning and tenacity that have filled Arsenal fans with the hope they might never have to see another Emmanuel Frimpong, Francis Coquelin or Mohamed Elneny darken their team-sheet.

Never again

PA:Empics Sport

Never again

Arsenal really are beginning to flourish under Emery, nine straight wins in all competitions has put them just two points behind Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool at the top of the table.

The combination of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, hereafter referred to as LacaBang™, is beginning to devastate teams just ask any of the Fulham defenders.

Auba on the left and Lacazette through the middle should strike fear into any defence.

Speed, style and goals galore – maybe the WOB were right all along…


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