Mikel Arteta set to face huge Arsenal problem this season after Lucas Torreira transfer decision – Football.London

There are just under two weeks of the transfer window remaining and Arsenal still have plenty left to do.

The Gunners are looking to finalise a £60 million double swoop for Aaron Ramsdale and Martin Odegaard, and having secured that they will move onto the outgoings.

So far Joe Willock‘s £25 million move to Newcastle has been the only permanent sale Edu has secured this summer, although there are expected to plenty more with the futures of Hector Bellerin, Reiss Nelson, Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah, to name but a few, still undetermined.

One player whose future does look certain though, is Lucas Torreira.


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football.london understands that the Uruguayan international is set to secure a move to Italy after being told that he is no longer a part of Mikel Arteta‘s plans.

Contrary to some of his own public statements over the past few months the 25-year-old had stated his desire to stay in north London to fight for his place, but now looks destined for Serie A after his manager’s decision.

On paper it is perhaps easy to see why this choice has been made.

If Arsenal complete the deals for Ramsdale and Odegaard they will be the highest spenders in the Premier League this summer, and there is a need to balance the books.

Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Mohamed Elneny are all ahead of Torreira in the pecking order at the Emirates so it would seem that the Gunners are well stocked in the middle of the park.

However, come January this could be a different story.



Lucas Torreira appears unlikely to have a future with Arsenal. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Lucas Torreira appears unlikely to have a future with Arsenal. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Both Partey and Elneny are expected to be called up to represent Ghana and Egypt respectively for the African Cup of Nations.

The competition is set to take place between January 9th and February 6th 2022, and with both nations among the favourites for the competition, there is a distinct possibility that they could be involved until the latter stages.

This would leave Arsenal with only Sambi and Xhaka as their options for a month that could involve games in the Carabao Cup semi finals and FA Cup third and fourth rounds as well as Premier League fixtures.

Youngster Miguel Azeez impressed in pre-season and could be turned to, but being forced to rely on him through this period would represent a risk from Arteta.

Although Torreira has not really been first choice since the Spaniard took over, he is experienced and also possesses the ability on the ball that Arteta admires among his midfielders.

The Uruguayan had a pass completion rate of 88.8% last season while on loan at Atletico Madrid last season, and although this is admittedly lower than that Elneny’s 93.4%, his progressive passes per 90 minutes record of 4.14 was far superior to his slightly less adventurous teammate’s 3.49.



Lucas Torreira and Mohamed Elneny in training together at London Colney (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Lucas Torreira and Mohamed Elneny in training together at London Colney (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

There is of course the possibility that Arsenal could bring in another central midfielder before deadline day.

football.london understands that the Gunners would like to bring in a sixth signing ahead of the August 31 deadline if they are able to complete player sales first.

However, it is likely that this will be a right back or a centre forward, and having extended Xhaka’s contract and signed Sambi this summer it seems unlikely that Edu will look to strengthen in the middle of the park again this window.

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The transfer window is in full swing and things are beginning to ramp up with Edu and Mikel Arteta’s dealings at the Emirates.

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As a result it seems like Arsenal will go into the season with just four senior central midfielders to choose from as things stand.

This may be fine for the first part of the season, but come the turn of the year it could undoubtedly raise some problems.

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