London (AFP) – Arsenal have acquired a “very bright talent” in their latest signing Uruguayan midfielder Lucas Torreira said the Premier League side’s manager Unai Emery on Tuesday.
The 22-year-old — who is Emery’s fourth signing since he was appointed Arsene Wenger’s successor in late May — cost a reported £27million ($35.8million, 30.5million euros) to prise him away from Serie A outfit Sampdoria.
Torreira — the length of whose contract Arsenal did not reveal — performed well at the World Cup, playing in all their games and impressed national coach Oscar Tabarez enough to gain a place in the starting line-up in the 2-0 quarter-final defeat by France last Friday.
“In Lucas Torreira, we have signed a young player who is a very bright talent in the game,” Emery told Arsenal’s official website.
“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,” added Emery, who allowed injury-prone midfield duo Jack Wilshere and Spaniard Santi Cazorla to leave when their contracts expired at the end of June.
Torreira, who had been at Sampdoria for three years, said he did not feel nervous about the challenge awaiting him in playing at one of England’s most historic clubs.
“I feel calm,” Torreira said in his first interview with the club’s media team.
“I am used to coping with this kind of thing in the best possible way.
“It’s a very positive thing that people want to welcome me. It makes me feel comfortable.
“Now I am calm and I look forward to the future, which for sure will be very nice.
“I feel very happy. I want to make the most of this opportunity life has given me.
“I am really looking forward to starting this new adventure.”
Torreira joins Swiss veteran defender Stephan Lichtsteiner, German goalkeeper Bernd Leno and experienced Greek defender Sokratis Papastathopouloss as new arrivals at the Gunners.
The players and Emery will be under pressure at the very least to deliver a trophy — they went trophyless last season — and a Champions League spot, which they did not compete in last season and missed out on again for the upcoming season.