Unai Emery explains why Lucas Torreira isn’t playing as a defensive midfielder for Arsenal

Lucas Torreira is reportedly unhappy with Unai Emery after he change his role in the Arsenal team
Lucas Torreira is reportedly unhappy with Unai Emery after he change his role in the Arsenal team (Picture: Getty)

Unai Emery insists Lucas Torreira needs to improve his playmaking abilities before he is trusted to play at the base of Arsenal’s midfield.

The combative Uruguay international impressed last season following his transfer from Sampdoria having been identified by the club’s former head of recruitment Sven Mislintat.

Torreira’s form, however, tailed off towards the end of last term and after arriving back late following international commitments in the summer he has been in and out of Emery’s side.

When he has appeared, the 23-year-old has been asked to play in an unfamiliar, more advanced role. Torreira’s agent claimed earlier this week that Emery’s tactical demands were a source of frustration to his client who has been heavily linked with a return to Serie A, amid reported interest from Napoli and AC Milan.

Asked why Torreira hadn’t been featuring as a conventional defensive midfielder ahead of Saturday’s must-win match against Southampton, Emery said: ‘But what is a defensive midfielder?

Lucas Torreira impressed in his conventional role against Argentina earlier this week
Lucas Torreira impressed in his conventional role against Argentina earlier this week (Picture: Getty)

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‘We need that position for the capacity to build up, it’s a big responsibility.

‘He needs to achieve confidence, achieve more matches and more experience to take the confidence to do that.

‘He can play as a defensive midfielder but we need a defensive midfielder [to be] offensive because the build up for us is very important.

‘Lucas can learn and improve but to give him that responsibility of building up and creating a lot of combinations with our team, he needs more time to learn or improve in that issue.’

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