Lucas Torreira, Arsenal’s new midfield dynamite, has revealed that a phone call from Unai Emery just before this summer’s World Cup was all it took for him to decide to choose Arsenal ahead of other suitors.
The £26million Arsenal paid Sampdoria to bring him to The Emirates Stadium is already looking like a steal, and a major coup, as the diminutive Uruguan is already arguably EPL’s signing of the season.
Having had first hand awareness of Torreira’s ability in the Serie A, Juventus and AC Milan were touted as his likely destination and Torreira himself has expressed surprise that Arsenal not only knew about him but had expressed strong interest.
Torreira was speaking to Arsenal Media:
“At the end of my last season at Sampdoria there were lots of teams being mentioned. “I never imagined coming here to England because it was mainly Italian teams being mentioned.
“Before I left for the World Cup I got a call from the coach which was a massive surprise for me. I knew that I had earned it because of all my hard work and everything that I had done. That phone call made me a very happy man.
“It allowed me to relax too because it allowed me to focus all of my attention on the national team and the World Cup.
“I’m so proud to be part of such an important team and it gives me a lot of motivation to keep improving, to keep developing and to give everything I have for the team.”
In spite of Torreira’s impressive showing so far in the Premier League, lately adding goals, vital ones, to his midfield graft, he admits that it hasn’t been as easy as it appears to adapt to life in the EPL and in North London.
“It hasn’t been easy though: there’s the language and the issue of communicating.
“I’m lucky because the coach is Spanish and the coaching staff are too, so that makes things easier for me because they can explain things in Spanish to me.
“It’s also not been easy to adapt to the football here: the intensity, the tempo and quality of games.
“At Sampdoria I had been used to playing in Serie A and Coppa Italia whereas now I’m involved in four competitions here as well as the national team.”
Torreira has just been named Arsenal’s November Player of the Month.