Lucas Torreira explains how he brought 'garra charrua' fighting mentality to Arsenal

Sam Dean
The Telegraph
Lucas Torreira has established himself in the Arsenal team since his summer move from Sampdoria - Arsenal FC
Lucas Torreira has established himself in the Arsenal team since his summer move from Sampdoria - Arsenal FC

Lucas Torreira has said he has brought the famous Uruguayan fighting mentality to Arsenal as Unai Emery’s side prepare to face a Manchester United team who were criticised by their own manager, Jose Mourinho, for not having enough “mad dogs”.

Uruguayans are known for their tenacity and winning mentality, known as ‘garra charrua’, and Torreira said he has tried to imbue his Arsenal team-mates with that unique energy.

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Torreira, who has quickly established himself as one of Arsenal’s most important players since arriving in the summer, impressed again in Sunday’s north London derby with his tireless pressing and tackling.

Asked about the ‘garra charrua’ spirit, he said: “That is something I carry inside of me. That is my way of playing, and I try to bring that positive energy to the team.”

Torreira, a £25m signing from Sampdoria in the summer, scored his first goal for the club against Tottenham Hotspur. He had gone close to breaking his duck the previous week, striking the post against Bournemouth, and was visibly emotional after his fine finish against Spurs.

“I have the confidence of my team-mates and the coach tells me before every game to try to get forward,” Torreira said. “Obviously when we are out on the pitch we like to create chances to score. In the previous match I had hit the post, going so close. On Sunday I got lucky and I am so happy about that.”

Torreira’s dynamic and physical approach contrasts sharply with Mourinho’s midfielders at Old Trafford. Mourinho said after this weekend’s draw with Southampton that he does not have many players who “bite the ball and press all the time”.

As well as the tenacious Torreira, Mourinho will need to find a way to nullify the threat of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on Wednesday night. The Arsenal striker is now the Premier League’s top scorer, with 10 goals, and Emery has challenged him to win the golden boot.

“He has the possibility to be the best scorer in the Premier League,” Emery said. "In his career he has played as a winger on the right, on the left and like a striker. And sometimes his best performance is starting the match on the bench and then playing 20 or 25 minutes. The last two matches he has had a very big performance. I want to say to him and also to everyone - don’t stop, continue with this commitment every match.”

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