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“I’ll never change,” smiled a young Lucas Torreira, surrounded by family and childhood friends while enjoying a few days back home in Fray Bentos during January’s winter break.
He may be the same, but everything around the Sampdoria and Uruguay midfielder is changing. With a summer move could be in the offing as Arsenal are in talks with Sampdoria over a deal for Torreira .
Torreira was reported to be one of the top targeted in the transfer market by Premier League club Arsenal,
“It’s true, people recognise me more now,” he told Ovacion . “In Uruguay I was never known as I left so young.”
Torreira agreed to join Samp in July 2015 but remained at Pescara for a second season, which would prove the making of him. In an increasing trend in European football, Torreira followed in the footsteps of the likes of Leandro Paredes as he was converted from an attacking midfielder into a defensive one.
“It was pre-season training and the club told me to take a look at him and said, ‘If not, we’ll send him back to Uruguay’,” then coach Massimo Oddo told La Repubblica . “I saw in him a football intelligence, personality, physical strength… but he always wanted the ball at his feet. So, I told him, ‘Why don’t you play as a defensive midfielder instead of the playmaker?’ I put him in the first team immediately.”
Torreira found the space he needed to conduct the play and led Pescara to promotion, immediately earning comparisons to a former alumni, Marco Verratti, via Goal.