Why Arsenal ace Lucas Torreira is struggling at Emirates as AC Milan plot transfer | Football | Sport
That’s the view of Spanish football expert Alvaro Romeo, who believes the midfielder has struggled with the language barrier.
Torreira struck fear into the hearts of Arsenal fans earlier this week by admitting he preferred life in Italy compared with what he’s experienced in England so far.
But Romeo, who was speaking on talkSPORT, believes the language barrier has been the Uruguayan’s biggest problem so far.
“I sensed that he was not adapted yet, that’s for sure, but I wouldn’t say he looked unhappy,” he said.
“The first time I interviewed him on the day of his presentation [when he signed for Arsenal], I can say I’ve seen few players with less knowledge of England than Torreira on his first day, and after a couple of months he still didn’t speak the language.
“He’s a nice guy, though, he’s the kind of polite player who would always stop and talk to journalists.
“But he’s not fluent in English yet, I guess he must have improved over the last nine or ten months, but he’s still got a long way to go with the language.
“The fact at the beginning you’re not culturally adapted to the country, it doesn’t necessarily mean goodbye to England.
“Santi Cazorla needed a translator for a couple of years at Arsenal – I know that because I was his translator a number of times.
“Nacho Monreal and David Ospina as well, and they all managed to stay three or four seasons at Arsenal, and Monreal is still there.”
Torreira, who has been linked with AC Milan, started well at Arsenal and became an early hero after scoring in the Gunners’ 4-2 win over Tottenham in the north London derby in December.
It was the 23-year-old’s first goal for Arsenal but only managed to notch once more between then and the end of the season.
He recently spoke of his troubles with Arsenal, noting that he was more keen on life in Italy where he played for Sampdoria – but Romeo doesn’t believe that it means Torreira wants to leave.
“And Torreira wasn’t ranting, he was not pressing the exit button,” he added.
“He also admitted telling Arsenal TV that he struggled a little bit to adapt to Genoa when he moved to Italy when he was 16, from a really small town called Fray Bentos in Uruguay.
“He struggled in Italy as well, but he managed to make it in Italy, so I don’t see why he can’t manage to make it in England, too.
“And at Arsenal they’ve got a Spanish speaking manager in Unai Emery, which is really important.”