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Lucas Torreira says he flattered that Arsenal supporters view his presence in midfield as similar to that of club legend Patrick Vieira but joked he’ll have to grow taller for the comparison to stick.
The Uruguay international may have started the season on the bench but he’s come to the fore in recent weeks, developing a partnership with both Granit Xhaka and Matteo Guendouzi that has kept the Gunners unbeaten run ticking along.
Proving that he’s fast become a favourite on the terraces, the words of Vieira’s old chant have even been tweaked by fans to pay homage to his growing reputation.
“If the fans are comparing me and my game to Patrick Vieira, that’s amazing,” Torreira told Sky Sports.
“It makes me very proud but I need to grow a bit before I can be as tall as him!
“But he’s an amazing player, I remember getting up in the mornings in Uruguay to watch him. I feel very happy and am looking to help the team.
“I’m trying to improve as a player and do what’s best for the team. Right now we’re doing very well so it’s just about doing that.”
Despite a 14-game unbeaten run, the Gunners still have it all to do if they’re going to end their Champions League exile. Two successive draws have seen us drop to fifth place, however, Torreira is aiming high, especially with opportunities for silverware spread across four competitions.
“I really hope that we can achieve some really big goals this season. We are obviously competing in four competitions, so really it’s a case of so far so good.
“We’ve had a very good run so far, that has taken a lot of hard work but the team is working hard and improving with each game.
“Personally, I think a good objective for us would be to try and qualify for the Champions League, that would be fantastic for the club and the fans.
“We also want to fight until the end in the Premier League, the Europa League, Carabao Cup and when the FA Cup starts too.”
Great to hear that Lucas is enjoying himself, he certainly seems to be thriving since his summer move from Sampdoria. At this point, it feels like he needs a nickname. Any suggestions?
Alysson Rudd of The Times said recently that Torreira reminds her of the Peperami adverts of the mid-90s. Not bad.