Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira says he is doing everything he can to get back into manager Unai Emery’s first-team plans after being given limited game time this season.
The Uruguayan had an excellent first year at the Emirates, having made 50 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners but he has been restricted to just five starts so far this campaign. Asked whether he is finding it frustrating, the 23-year-old replied:
“I don’t know whether I’d say it’s frustrating. All players want to play, they obviously want to be in the starting XI – that’s completely normal. It’s down to the coach to make those decisions and really I have to respect that. Right now it’s about not giving up.”
“You have to continue working hard and whether I’m playing in the starting XI or from the bench I want to give my all for the team. That’s the kind of player I am. I like to give 100 per cent for the shirt to help my team-mates and to give the fans something to cheer about.”
Torreira returned late in pre-season after playing for Uruguay at the Copa America, and it meant to Emery opted to keep the tenacious midfielder on the bench at the beginning of the campaign.
Matteo Guendouzi’s superb performances have also played a role in his lack of matches, and while many supporters would prefer the Uruguayan international to Granit Xhaka, it’s unsurprising that the Swiss star is ahead of him in the pecking order after being named captain.
The fact that Torreira has started almost 50% of the games this season shows he is still part of Emery’s plans. He will have to bide his time and make the most of his chances when he gets them.