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Lucas Torreira's Agent Says AC Milan Move Was Possible but Arsenal Wouldn't Sell

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 17:  Lucas Torreira of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Burnley FC at Emirates Stadium on August 17, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images)
Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

Lucas Torreira's agent,ย Pablo Bentancur, said the midfielder could have joined AC Milan in the summer, but Arsenal would not consider letting him leave.ย 

The Uruguayan's former mentor at Sampdoria,ย Marco Giampaolo, took over as the Rossoneri's manager after Gennaro Gattuso left the club at the end of last season.

Bentancur told TuttoMercatoWeb (h/t the Mirror's Alex Smith):

"There was the possibility. Giampaolo is in the heart of Lucas.

"But Arsenal said they had no intention of selling the boy. Lucas is fine, the club are happy with him. This will be the year of consecration. With the Arsenal shirt.

"Milan is Milan. It will always be an important team, even if today it has some economic problems."

The 23-year-old invited speculation over his future in June when he said he preferred living in Italy to England, though he also suggested he would adapt to his new surroundings:

Goal @goal

"I think I liked living in Italy more" ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira isn't sure about life in England ๐Ÿค” https://t.co/3L0OU0fcGJ

Torreira joined the Gunners last year and quickly became a mainstay in their midfield, making 50 appearances in all competitions.

He was among Arsenal's better players last season, adding intensity and bite in the centre of the parkโ€”qualities the team had too often lacked in recent years.

Torreira is aย tenacious ball-winner, and he's also adept at protecting the ball when in possession and drawing fouls from opponents.

The diminutive midfielder played a key role in the Gunners securing a 2-0 win over Napoli in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League quarter-final last season:

Scouted Football @ScoutedFtbl

His role in Arsenal's second goal was huge, and it typified his style. Triggering pressures, cutting out passes, shutting down angles, tracking runners, recovering possession: his anticipation, intensity and mobility in defensive and transitional phases is invaluable.

Arsenal blogger Tim Stillman believes he's the future of the team's midfield:

Tim Stillman @Stillberto

Theyโ€™re all still quite young and will have ups and downs, but so much of what you need in a PL midfield is physical now and they all have that basis. You need to be an athlete and a player.

Manager Unai Emery likely shares a similar view, so it's no surprise the Gunners would not consider his departure this summer so soon after his arrival.

Torreira can be a key player for Arsenal in the coming years, and he's only likely to improve as he gets older and settles in more.