‘Not the right time’ – Arteta responds to loanee’s transfer plea

James Holland
Mikel Arteta looks dejected

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says it’s ‘not the right moment’ to discuss the future of Lucas Torreira, following the player’s transfer plea last week.

Torreira revealed his intention of signing for Boca Juniors and being closer to his family after the death of his mother.

The announcement left his Atletico Madrid loan in jeopardy and Arsenal in a curious predicament.

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Speaking about Torreira at the pre-match press conference, Arteta said (via Goal): “We have spoken to him and we know how difficult a time this is for him. He was really attached to his mum and he’s really attached to his family.

“It’s a hard time for him and emotionally there is a lot of thoughts that will go through his mind. When things are like that, it’s not the moment to make decisions.

“I understand how he’s feeling emotionally. He probably feels the need and responsibility to be closer to his family.

“But it’s not the moment to make any decisions and it certainly is a decision that has to be made by different parties. Now, nothing is going to change. It’s just an interview with some comments. Let’s see what happens.

“We know that when you recruit a player from a foreign country, when they have that struggle sometimes to adapt to a new culture, a new language, a new way of doing things. This risk is there and then you have to be able to manage that risk and make the right decisions at the right time.”

Last Thursday, the defensive midfielder said he was ‘dying to play for Boca’ and fulfil his father’s dreams.

Torreira has made 15 La Liga appearances for Atletico since joining on loan in October.

He doesn’t tend to suit Diego Simeone’s style of play and is unlikely to be kept in Madrid past his loan.

That leaves his future in doubt, both in terms of this season and going forwards.

If Torreira is adamant about playing for Boca Juniors then Arsenal may have to consider a permanent exit in the summer transfer window.