Arsenal legend Gilberto Silva is hoping that the Gunners £26 million summer signing Lucas Torreira can have the same impact at the Emirates as the superb N’Golo Kante has had at London rivals, Chelsea.
Defensive midfielder Torreira is yet to start a Premier League game for Arsenal, although he has impressed massively during substitute appearances in all four of his sides games so far this season, with many fans of the North London outfit calling on manager Unai Emery to include the 22-year-old Uruguay international from the start of games.
Former Brazil international Silva was part of the legendary ‘Invincible’ side that went through the entire 2003/04 season unbeaten as they won the Premier League title. He is widely regarded to have been Arsenal’s last top-class holding midfielder, but Silva seems hopeful that Torreira will be able to fulfill his former role at the base of the Gunners midfield with distinction.
“Can he have the same impact as Kante? I hope so,” Gilberto told the London Evening Standard.
“The Premier League is not easy. You have to work hard to be considered a top player and progress game to game, season to season.
“But he’s got the potential. We saw that at the World Cup, where he did a great job for Uruguay.
“I watched him in the World Cup. He did a very good job. If you see the way he plays, he plays the game very simply, he makes things easy for him on the field.
“He gives protection to the back four and support to the guys up front, he tries to find the best spot to be. The protective instinct is very natural for him.”
“Before [Torreira] arrived none of the other players were the kind who would sit in front of the back four. It’s a hard job, not everyone wants to do it.”