According to Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville, Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira has changed the mentality of the club.
Since joining Arsenal last summer from Sampdoria, Torreira has quickly become a fans’ favorite, helping the Gunners to a 21-match unbeaten run.
The Uruguayan midfielder has also been prolific in recent weeks. He found the net in Arsenal’s 4-2 win against Spurs, and in their narrow 1-0 victory Huddersfield Town on Saturday.
“I’ve been massively impressed,” Neville told Sky Sports, speaking of the 22-year-old.
“I watched him in the World Cup. I did the France vs Uruguay game live and he was tenacious.
“In the first half an hour to 40 minutes you thought he gets around the pitch and he’s like a terrier, but then actually as France started to get on top he started to get dominated.
“Obviously Uruguay got a bit desperate but with the likes of Paul Pogba and Blaise Matuidi in midfield and Antoine Griezmann dropping in, I just remember thinking he couldn’t get around the pitch.
“So when Arsenal signed him you just wondered how it would be? But his impact upon that team is huge.
“I think it’s the biggest impact actually if you think about the character Arsenal have shown this season in terms of the second-half performances, keeping going and the tempo they sometimes set in games.
“I think someone like him leaves his team-mates with nowhere to go. We’ve talked about Arsenal’s approach to games over the last two or three years and there was never that feeling that you felt as though it mattered at times.
“At times in big matches, they always disappointed and you felt there wasn’t a leader out on the pitch for the players to look towards.
“If you look at him in that derby last week against Tottenham getting forward into the box he’s almost like this bundle of energy that everyone else in the team responds too, and this team needed that.
“With this Arsenal player over this three, four, five, six years that they’ve needed you’ve always got this picture of Emmanuel Petit and Patrick Vieira in your mind – a strong presence in midfield.
“He’s diminutive, not very big but then he’s tenacious. He gets into the box and he’s scored two goals in the last week. He’s good on the ball, he’s tidy on the ball and takes it and shows courage.
“He’s a massive upgrade on where they’ve been but most of all the impact he’s having on Arsenal’s mentality is huge.”