Of all of the Arsenal player story lines this season, Lucas Torreira’s has arguably been one of the toughest ones. The beginning of the season saw the Uruguayan loaned to Atletico Madrid after seeing his playing time in Arsenal’s midfield diminish under Mikel Arteta. Life in Spain has not gone so well, either, as Torreira has struggled for minutes at the Wanda Metropolitano. During his loan, he also contracted COVID-19 while on international duty in November.
But the worst news of all for Torreira came just weeks ago when he suffered the loss of his mother to COVID-19. This loss was soon followed by the player publicly stating his wish to play for Boca Juniors in order to be closer to home.
It seems that, now, the player is desperate for the move and is pleading with Arsenal for a season-long loan to the Argentinian club, as reported by Fabrizio Romano earlier today.
Lucas Torreira to @federicobulos: “I want to go to Boca Juniors now. I am 25 years old and I know it’s a club that plays for great targets. I’d like to make the fans happy... but I know it's not easy. Boca should reach an agremeent with Arsenal for a one-year loan”. #AFC #Boca— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) April 15, 2021
This transfer situation is perhaps the most unique one Arsenal have faced, but also one that is completely understandable. You would have to be fairly callous to fault Torreira for this decision, one that cannot be easy for a player in his prime. While Boca Juniors is a club with ample prestige, the decision to leap from the Premier League and La Liga to the Argentina Primera Division is one that comes with a hefty cost to the player, both financially and developmentally. But for Torreira, that is the least of his concerns.
Torreira appeared destined for an Arsenal exit regardless of the circumstances that lead to this current request. He had hinted last season at a longing to return to Italy, where he had played for Serie A side Sampdoria before being acquired by the Gunners in 2018. The loan to Atletico at the beginning of the season seemed to be the first domino to fall toward an inevitable exit, as Arteta’s tactical preferences meant that Torreira became surplus to requirements after the transfer of Thomas Partey.
The ball is firmly in Arsenal’s court, and they’d be fools not to grant Torreira’s wishes. Money is tight at the Emirates, sure, but the club would garner far more in respect than they would in cash by honoring Torreira’s wishes at this stage.
Stay tuned for further updates as the situation evolves.