Reports have been circling over a near-confirmed move of Sampdoria midfielder, Lucas Torreira to Arsenal this summer. The Gunners convinced the Serie A outfit to part ways with the 22-year-old by offering £26.4m instead of just paying his £22m release clause.
However, neither the club or the player have come out to confirm the transfer. When asked about the switch, Torreira said, “No, I don’t know [if he is an Arsenal player]. At the moment, the most important thing is playing for my country. Arsenal are a good team, one of the most important in the world, but at this moment I am focused on playing for my country.”
Those are some high praises to pay a club which comes very close to guaranteeing his presence in the Emirates next season. However, the nail still needs to be hammered into the ground and the Gunners have to make provisions for a last-minute complication.
What if the deal is being held up by some unknown metric and where will Arsenal be without Torreira next season? Unai Emery will have to make adjustments, including finding an able replacement.
The Gunners are a bit short staffed in the defensive midfield position after the departure of Francis Coquelin in January. Granit Xhaka runs hot and cold on a regular basis and Mohamed Elneny is mostly considered as a rotational option.
With Jack Wilshere also leaving the side, Emery must sign a prolific figure to hit off his Arsenal career in the right direction. So far the former Paris Saint-Germain boss has already brought in Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen and Stephan Lichtsteiner on a free transfer.
Here are a few names he should consider as a potential replacement for Lucas Torreira.
The Gabon international is already being targeted by Manchester City after his first Premier League season with Southampton. The 24-year-old played a key role in helping the Saints out of the relegation scraps the last term by making 29 appearances and scoring just once.
Still only 23 and heaps of potential under his boots, Llorente is nothing more than a bench option with Real Madrid. The Spaniard might be willing to move to a side who will be able to offer him a more prominent role.
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He plies his trade for FSV Mainz and has 4 caps to his name for Ivory Coast. The 22-year-old is turning out to be a bright young star in the Bundesliga, having scored once and assisted 3 in the past season.