Arsenal confirm Torreira departure; former striker ‘expects’ two to follow him out the door

Jason Soutar
Former Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira celebrates a win with Hector Bellerin

Lucas Torreira has finally left Arsenal, joining Turkish side Galatasaray on a permanent basis.

Uruguay international Torreira spent the last two seasons on loan at Atletico Madrid and Fiorentina respectively.

The 26-year-old made 89 appearances for the Gunners after moving from Sampdoria in July 2018 at the start of Unai Emery’s reign.

He was an unused substitute when the north London club defeated Chelsea in the 2020 FA Cup final, while he won LaLiga during his temporary switch to Atletico.

“Everyone at Arsenal thanks Lucas for his contribution during his time with us,” read a statement on Arsenal’s website.

“We wish Lucas and his family the best of health and happiness in their new chapter with Galatasaray.”

Arsenal have been very active in the transfer market, bringing in five new players and spending over £100million in the process.

There are more outgoings to be sorted out, however, with Pablo Mari reportedly close to joining Monza or Hellas Verona.

The latter are keen on a permanent deal, while Monza would prefer a loan with an option to buy if they avoid relegation from Serie A.

Arsenal would prefer a permanent departure with Mari falling even further down the pecking order after William Saliba returned to the club after a terrific season on loan with Marseille.

Another player who is likely to leave the club is right-back Hector Bellerin.

The Spaniard spent last season on loan with Real Betis – helping them win the Copa del Rey – and is hoping to permanently sign for the La Liga club.

Betis, however, are hoping to land him on a free transfer, with Arsenal understandably unhappy with those conditions.

Left-back Alex Moreno was set to leave the club for around £9m but rejected a switch to Nottingham Forest. If that transfer had gone through, Betis may have been able to fund a move for Bellerin.

Having said that, former Gunners striker Kevin Campbell says he ‘expects’ Bellerin and Mari to leave following the exits of Torreira and Bernd Leno – who recently joined Fulham.

Campbell did say he is unsure what will happen with Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Reiss Nelson, who both look likely to struggle for game time this campaign.

“I expect Mari and Bellerin to leave as well,” he told Football Insider.

“Bellerin has been a good servant but there is no point keeping him when his time is up.

“Saliba wants his number two shirt as well. It is one of those things. It has to happen.

“Maitland-Niles is one I’m not sure on. It might be a loan move for him. Reiss Nelson might also have to leave on loan. He has looked alright in pre-season but the standards and levels at Arsenal are going up.

“You cannot carry deadwood. Some of these guys might be used as squad players and may well be the Hale End boys.”