Soccer

Lucas Torreira identifies key problem that "cost" him at Arsenal

Lucas Torreira admits the language barrier hindered his progress at Arsenal and motivated him to join Atletico Madrid on loan this season.

Torreira, 24, joined the Gunners for £26million after impressing at the 2018 World Cup for Uruguay.

The defensive midfielder impressed during his debut season at the Emirates, making 50 appearances in all competitions, and but his 2019/20 campaign was hampered by a serious ankle injury.

Torreira joined Atletico on a season-long loan last month and he has already hinted he would like to stay on at the Wanda Metropolitano, putting the personal issues which impacted his time in north London firmly behind him.

One problem the former Sampdoria man struggled to overcome while at Arsenal was the language barrier, as he is more proficient in Italian and Spanish than English.

Discussing the importance of the atmosphere at Atletico, Torreira told Spanish outlet AS : "This affects me a lot.

"I have two Uruguayan colleagues, a Uruguayan teacher, an Argentine coaching staff and language is an important factor, too.

"I was in England for two years and that issue cost me, beyond that I was taking classes.

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"I know that I came to Atletico Madrid, a club with a lot of hierarchy that fights important things, that also influenced this decision I made."

Torreira also opened up on the role his international teammate Luis Suarez – who left Barcelona for Atletico last summer – played in his move to the Spanish capital.

He added: "My negotiations lasted until the final day of the transfer window but I had already been talking to Luis.

"His arrival gives an important bonus to the team for everything he generates as a player.

"He has a great track record. He is one of the best strikers in the world, it is no coincidence that he is the third-highest scorer for Barcelona in history.

"Personally, sharing the team and the national team with him is something I really enjoy. Honestly, I try to learn all day from him, I make the most of it."

Torreira has made seven appearances for Atletico, scoring one goal, while Diego Simeone's side are third in La Liga.

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