LONDON, England- Uruguay international midfielder Lucas Torreira has agreed to join Arsenal FC from Italian Serie A side Sampdoria, the club announced on Tuesday.
Torreira is the fourth summer signing for new head coach Unai Emery who is rebuilding the Gunners in a bid to re-establish their dominance in the English Premier League.
The 22 year-old has just returned from representing his country at the World Cup in Russia, where he featured in all five matches as they progressed to the quarter-finals and was one of the standout players for La Celeste.
Having only played three times for Uruguay before the World Cup, Torreira quickly proved himself a key component of the side as they reached the last eight where they fell to France.
The midfielder’s tigerish displays were indicative of a side fired by the ‘garra charrua’ – a phrase used in his homeland to represent their unique spirit and tenacity.
“It’s a bit complicated to explain what the ‘garra charrua’ is. It is a way of living football, it is the way all Uruguayans grow up, it is the way we play football in our neighbourhoods. The ‘garra charrua’ is inside every Uruguayan. It is a bit difficult to explain.
“Because ‘garra charrua’ means that we give all we have inside. We give all we have to our football, our jersey and our country. We do our best because every time we enter the pitch we represent our family and friends, the most important people for us,” Torreira told the club’s website.
“In Lucas Torreira, we have signed a young player who is a very bright talent in the game. A midfielder with great quality, I have enjoyed watching his performances for Sampdoria in the past two seasons, and we all saw him do very well for Uruguay in the World Cup.
“He is a young player already with good experience, but who wants to keep on growing. We welcome Lucas to Arsenal and look forward to him joining us soon for pre-season,” Emery said after Torreira was unveiled at London Colney.
Starting his youth career in Uruguay with I.A 18 Julio and then Montevideo Wanderers, Lucas moved to Italy in 2013 where he joined Pescara. He made his debut there as an 19-year-old in May 2015.
In July 2015, Lucas signed for Sampdoria, but remained at Pescara for the 2015/16 season to gain further first-team experience, making 29 appearances during the campaign.
He returned to Sampdoria before the 2016/17 season and during his time with ‘La Samp’ made 71 appearances, becoming a first-team regular and an integral part of the side.
Lucas, who will wear the number 11 shirt, has been at the club for a medical and will now have a post-World Cup break and join up with the squad in early August.
The deal is subject to the completion of regulatory processes with the player revealing the Lion tattoo he has on his arm represents what he is on and off the pitch.
“I just had it done because I liked it. It’s true that a lion represents strength and the spirit we Uruguayans have inside, but I am also a tattoo lover. I liked this tattoo from the moment I saw it,” he added.
-Material from Arsenal.com used to compile this report. Read more on the Torreira signing and other Gunners stories here.