Lucas Torreira has a future at Arsenal – Unai Emery

Lucas Torreira has been told he has a future at Arsenal as head coach Unai Emery shows footage of his performances from last season in an attempt to improve his form.

Speculation surfaced during the international break that Torreira was growing unhappy after being used out of position in recent weeks.

The Uruguay international’s agent claimed Torreira had been “hurt” by being played in a more advanced position than he is accustomed to.

Lucas Torreria enjoyed a fine first season at Arsenal.
Lucas Torreria enjoyed a fine first season at Arsenal.

A lot of Arsenal supporters have also questioned Emery’s decision not to play the 23-year-old in his preferred defensive midfield role, where he impressed last year during his debut season in England.

Earlier in the campaign, Emery said Torreira was the best Arsenal player at pressing the opposition as eyebrows were raised when the former Sampdoria man played as a de facto number 10.

Emery believes Torreira has a “big future” at the Emirates Stadium but says he needs to be more consistent having started just four Premier League games this season and is looking to help him improve.

“He is a good player for us, he has very big commitment and very good behaviour,” Emery said.

“He has a very big future here but he must think that he needs to improve, learn in some situations to help us to do better.

“He played well last year but this year he’s not being consistent but my challenge to him is to improve, to do better with some tactical issues on the pitch and above all be consistent.”

Emery revealed he has been working one-on-one with Torreira in an attempt to improve his consistency as he explained why he feels he cannot deploy him deeper in midfield.

“I spoke with him on Wednesday and Thursday,” he said. “I showed him some movies about his best performances with us and how he can improve.

“He is young, his process here is starting and he started playing in the Premier League last year and he progressed – but this year again, he needs to progress.

“But what is a defensive midfielder? We need that position for the capacity to build up (attacks), it is a big responsibility.

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

Emery has seen scrutiny of his tactics and team selection grow during a poor run of form.
Emery has seen scrutiny of his tactics and team selection grow during a poor run of form.

Arsenal face Southampton on Saturday looking to address a five-game winless streak which includes just two victories from their last 10 Premier League matches.

Such form has seen the pressure mount on Emery, especially now neighbours Tottenham have opted to sack Mauricio Pochettino despite reaching the Champions League final last season.

Spurs have turned to Jose Mourinho to change their fortunes after the Portuguese had initially been linked with replacing Emery at Arsenal.

Instead, the Gunners’ hierarchy publicly backed Emery – who revealed he has held talks with head of football Raul Sanllehi and managing director Vinai Venkatesham.

“I was speaking with the club every week, not every day but every week,” he added.

“I spoke with Vinai last week, I spoke with Raul. We are speaking about how we can find a solution. It’s the same with the players, we’ve spoken with them about how we can improve.

“I’m very happy with their response in the training sessions and I am looking for them to play on Saturday with the same response to show every supporter.

“Above all we need to be demanding to play better to achieve better results.”