Arsenal's Lucas Torreira.

Paul Merson explains why he think Lucas Torreira's Arsenal start has been exaggerated

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Unai Emery's start as Arsenal manager has gone a lot better than most anticipated.

The Spaniard and the Gunners are currently on a 22-game unbeaten after beating Qarabag 1-0 in their final Europa League group game.

Alexandre Lacazette scored the only goal of the game, with most of Arsenal's first-team stars rested ahead of Sunday's Premier League tie with Southampton.

One key man afforded a much-needed rest was Lucas Torreira, with the Uruguayan already a cult-hero among Arsenal supporters.

The former Sampdoria man scored the fourth goal in the 4-2 win over Tottenham and netted a crucial winner in the 1-0 victory against Huddersfield last weekend.

Torreira has received a lot of praise for his adaptation to life in England, but Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson believes that's because Arsenal have missed a player like him so much.

Merson said, per The Sun: "Liverpool wouldn't buy him tomorrow morning, I wouldn't have thought any of the top four would.

"He can and will get better, but he's done great.

"They needed it, we all knew that. Arsene Wenger knew it but he was too stubborn to go and get someone.

Torreira after the win vs Huddersfield

"He [Torreira] could be playing at Southampton and wouldn’t get a mention, or Burnley. No-one would mention it. It’s just that Arsenal needed it so badly.

"He gets around people, closes players down, gets everybody fighting. He’s not a natural passer, but he sets the tempo."

The often-controversial pundit has actually made a decent point, for a change.

Arsenal haven't had a capable defensive midfielder in nearly a decade, so it's only natural that when a good one arrives, he gets praised to the rafters.

Torreira celebrates vs Spurs

Would Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea or Tottenham - the four sides ahead of Arsenal - take him? It's hard to say, but he probably wouldn't make the starting XI, especially at City and Chelsea.

Paul Merson
Lucas Torreira
Unai Emery
Premier League

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