Charlie Nicholas floated an idea this morning that got me thinking about the players surplus to requirements at his old club Arsenal. The former Celtic man made the assertion that Ange Postecoglou needs more firepower for his tilt at Champions League football this season; and in all honesty, I tend to agree.
Not known to be a friend to the Hoops in recent years, as our Editor has already pointed out, he has certainly been a turn up for the books as regard to Ange Postecoglou that’s for certain. His latest idea I have to admit I liked, but it’s another of Pablo Mari’s fellow outcasts I would love to see Ange and Michael Nicholson make a play for.
The player I have in mind is Lucas Torriera. The Uruguayan midfielder has been on the fringes at Arsenal for some time now and has been out on-loan for a considerable period in London. Originally purchased for an initial £26 million outlay, Torreria was brought to the Gunners after an excellent showing at the World Cup in 2018.
He was fantastic at that tournament if I remember correctly, which prompted then manager, Unai Emery to splash the cash on him. His time thereafter was mixed to say the least, getting sent off a few times and letting the side down. Overzealous at points, he needed to be fine tuned and polished a bit more to make it at the north London side. That never happened though and he was farmed out to Fiorentina and Atletico Madrid.
Now it is reported that the player has been in talks with Galatasary after Mikel Arteta accepted an offer for his services from the Turkish Super Lig club. The Sun have reported that the bid in question was believed to be £7 million for the South American enforcer, which is quite the bargain if truth be told. At just 26-years-old he is about to come into his peak years for a footballer and his best is ahead of him instead of behind him.
I think Celtic should try and get involved in this deal. Why not?
I understand the outlay is hefty but you have to think of his pedigree and experience at the top echelons of the game. Albeit, his past while has been ropey, but he probably just needs somewhere to put down roots and call home. If he finds somewhere that he is loved I firmly believe it would spark a renaissance in his game as I have always rated him highly.
At Arsenal, Granit Xhaka has let the side down more times than the tongue could tell, yet is given chance after chance in that side. He even had a running battle with the fans and disrespected the shirt and the club after being substituted on one occasion. Yet, Torriera was dropped and shipped out at first opportunity and he is an equally talented football player.
Celtic are desperate for a defensive midfielder right now and I fear that if we do not procure one for the Champions League group stage kicking-off, we could be in a spot of bother – depending on who we get. Torriera is an ideal fit for what we’re looking for. Tenacious, strong, powerful, tough in the tackle and can run all day long. He would be an exceptional signing for the club.
That initial outlay would be paid back ten-fold as that position in the team would be filled for quite some time into the future. And the added bonus is of he finds that World Cup form again we could be looking at selling him for a fortune at a later date. It all makes perfect sense to try and hijack any potential deal between him and the Turkish side.
The figures are high, granted. But can you imagine him in that midfield? Allowing Callum McGregor that freedom of the field once again? Or perhaps even playing in a double pivot against those top level sides in the Europe’s top club competition this season?
Surely it is an avenue worth exploring for Ange and the club.