Lucas Torreira said he is happier in Italian football after explaining his motives for leaving Arsenal again for Fiorentina.
Ex-Sampdoria midfielder Torreira spent two seasons playing regularly for Arsenal before falling out of favour. He spent last season on loan with Atletico Madrid, winning La Liga without playing much. After the summer break, he secured a new opportunity, returning to Serie A with Fiorentina.
Following the addition of Albert Sambi Lokonga and the extension of Granit Xhaka’s contract, there was little room left for Torreira at Arsenal. Therefore, the Uruguay international headed back to the country in which he made his name at club level.
Torreira will spend the season with Fiorentina, who can then make his signing permanent should they desire. In total, he will cost them around €16.5m if that deal does eventually go through.
Despite his contract with Arsenal running until 2023, it seems he may have kicked his last ball for them more than a year ago.
The 25-year-old has since revealed that gametime and his comfort in Serie A were the principal reasons for making the move.
“For me the most important thing is to play,” he said at his unveiling, as transcribed by Calciomercato.
“It is true that we have been talking about Fiorentina for many years. I want to make the most of this experience now that I am here.
“I wanted to return to Italy, where I felt good. There were other offers, but what convinced me was [Fiorentina sporting director Daniele] Prade, and I believed in him and Fiorentina.”
Despite leaving English football behind, Torreira admitted that he found the Premier League to be the best he has played in.
However, it cannot match Serie A for tactics.
“If I have to be honest, the best is the English one,” he said. “La Liga is very similar to Serie A, but Italian football is number one in terms of tactics.”
Torreira made a total of 89 appearances for Arsenal, providing four goals and six assists. Last season, he played 26 times for Atletico, and previously, he represented Pescara in 36 games and Sampdoria in 74.
He will be hoping to make his Fiorentina debut after the international break. They visit Atalanta, who have become an established top-four side in recent years, on 11th September.
La Viola have one win and one defeat from their first two matches of the Serie A season. They had a positive transfer window, wrapped up with the addition of Torreira, and will be aiming higher this season than the 13th place they managed last year.
His parent club Arsenal, meanwhile, have not started the season well and will be hoping for a turnaround when they resume with a home match against Norwich City on the 11th.
Wenger assesses Arsenal start
Despite them being bottom of the league after three games, former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger does not think they should be ringing the alarm bells.
“Today the club is in good shape,” Wenger told Bild Live. “They had two tough games [against Chelsea and Man City], the team has potential and I hope they can come back.”
Pressure is rising on current manager Mikel Arteta, though. If he is sacked, Wenger has little intention of returning to replace him.
“I’m 71. I’ve given this club the best years of my life,” added Wenger. “At the moment I’m just a fan.”