Reports stemming from Italy today suggest that Napoli have offered Lucas Torreira a way out of Arsenal this January.
23-year-old midfielder Torreira made the move to the Emirates last summer from Serie A outfit Sampdoria, for a fee in the region of £25 million.
After being slowly introduced to English football by Unai Emery, the Uruguayan quickly went on to establish himself as a vital cog in Arsenal’s engine room.
Torreira’s tidy distribution, discipline, but more than anything, his tenacious attitude and bite in the tackle, quickly saw the diminutive South American emerge as a fan favourite in north London.
As such, though his influence began to wane as the campaign drew to a close, Arsenal’s fans were no doubt excited by the prospect of Torreira’s continued improvement on the back of his debut season in the Premier League.
‘Doesn’t make him happy’
The early months of the new campaign, however, have proven largely-underwhelming from the Uruguayan’s perspective, with Torreira having been in-and-out of the Arsenal line-up, culminating in starts in just 8 of the club’s 17 league outings.
In addition, when he was utilised by now-former boss Unai Emery, Torreira was often surprisingly deployed in a more advanced midfield position than he is accustomed to.
This resulted in the 23-year-old, through no fault of his own, often looking unsure of his exact role in the Gunners’ XI, leading to Torreira’s agent admitting last month that that his client was ‘not at ease’ in north London:
‘Torreira is doing well at Arsenal, although the change of role doesn’t make him happy. But it must be said that this year the whole team is not doing well.’
‘It was difficult to take Torreira at the time. Now I don’t know how things are, but I think Arsenal wants to retain him.’
‘In the new role he is not at ease, but we respect the coach’s decisions. After that we’ll see what happens.’
As such, though Torreira has reverted back to a more familiar role in recent weeks under the watch of interim Arsenal boss Freddie Ljungberg, speculation surrounding a potential Emirates departure for the former Pescara man has nevertheless continued to mount.
And the latest report linking Torreira with a winter transfer has emerged in Italy today.
The Gazzetta dello Sport (via the Daily Mail) claim that Napoli have offered the midfield enforcer a way out of north London.
The Partenopei are said to have tabled a bid, consisting of an 18-month loan beginning next month, followed by an obligation to buy in the summer of 2021, for a total of around £25 million.
Torreira could well be tempted by the prospect of a move back to Serie A, having previously made his name in the Italian top-flight with Sampdoria.
In addition, while Arsenal are once again plying their European trade in the Europa League this season, Napoli are set for a mouthwatering Champions League last-16 tie with Barcelona in the new year.