Lucas Torreira Confirms Flight to London Ahead of Medical to Seal Arsenal Move

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 8, 2018

NIZHNY NOVGOROD, RUSSIA - JULY 06:   Lucas Torreira of Uruguay in action during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Quarter Final match between Uruguay and France at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium on July 6, 2018 in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Uruguay star Lucas Torreira has confirmed he is flying to London to seal his move to Arsenal rather than returning to Montevideo with the team following their exit from the 2018 World Cup.

La Celeste lost 2-0 to France on Friday, and the team will be heading home, but he will not be joining them straight away.

He told Uruguayan outlet Telenoche (h/t Aaron Flanagan of the Mirror) at the airport: "I would have been very happy to be able to return to Uruguay with my teammates, but this is a fantastic opportunity [to join Arsenal] and I do not want to waste it."

According to Flanagan, he will have a medical with the Gunners on Monday.

Indeed, BBC Sport's David Ornstein had reported the medical was dependent on when Torreira flew to London:

David Ornstein @bbcsport_david

Arsenal hope to complete Lucas Torreira deal next week. Agreed with Sampdoria & 22yo. Medical + signing imminent - depends if he flies straight from #WorldCup to London or via #URU Finishes 1st team recruitment but a younger player for future also likely before window shuts #AFC https://t.co/LHkXid7Rda

While his team are headed home at the quarter-final stage, Torreira had an impressive tournament for his country.

Squawka Football shared his numbers ahead of the France clash, and as football analyst Dave O'Brien noted, he put in quite the shift against Les Bleus, too:

Squawka Football @Squawka

#SquawkaScout: Lucas Torreira 🇺🇾 214 #WorldCup minutes 90% pass accuracy 8 interceptions 8 clearances 6 blocks 4 fouls won Mind reader. 🔮 https://t.co/R3EbYF26Q4

Statman Dave @StatmanDave

Lucas Torreira made 4 interceptions vs. France, N'Golo Kanté was the only player on the pitch who made more. Will do well in the Premier League. #URU https://t.co/xzd55HNNMo

Arsenal have long needed some steel in the centre of the park, and Torreira's ability to regain and retain possession under pressure should give them that.

His work rate will not only shield the Gunners defence, but also go some way to freeing up the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka to focus more on contributing to Arsenal's attacking play, when they tend to be at their best.

At 22 he has already impressed on the world stage, and Arsenal will hope he can get even better with age as he gains more experience.