Martin Keown criticises one key Arsenal selection decision by Unai Emery

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Arsenal legend Martin Keown has criticised manager Unai Emery for continuing to overlook Lucas Torreira as a regular starter in midfield.

The Uruguay international has occasionally looked like one of the Gunners’ best players in that area of the pitch, but Emery has often gone for Granit Xhaka ahead of him despite the Swiss ace not doing a great deal to earn that continued trust.

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Keown is certainly surprised to see Emery snubbing Torreira in this way, and made it clear he felt the former Sampdoria ace could surely improve Arsenal’s midfield.

“Torreira has not been playing full stop. I’d like to see him in the Arsenal midfield,” Keown told the Metro.

“Whether you play him as a deep-lying midfielder or you play him wide or with someone else sitting deeper or two either side…it doesn’t matter as long as he is in the team. He hasn’t played enough for me.

“I would have thought it would have been very obvious that he has to play. He’s tenacious. The Chelsea game at home, the Liverpool game at home last season, he was playing in that team and Arsenal looked better for it.

“This is why I think the fans went against Emery because Xhaka played no matter what when Torreira had to sit on the bench. Ceballos plays one game for Arsenal [against Burnley] and was absolutely brilliant but he’s back on the bench. Maybe it’s Xhaka he needs to take out.”

Most Arsenal fans would probably agree with this, and it seems clear that something needs to change at the Emirates Stadium after the team’s poor recent form.

AFC have won just once in their last seven games and Emery needs to try something different to improve both results and performances.

Torreira has recently been linked with a possible transfer to Real Madrid by Don Balon, while the Independent have also quoted him as throwing his Arsenal future into doubt.

Lucas Torreira in Arsenal training

“Today Arsenal needs me to be focused. I can’t start talking about another team,” he told Tiempo de Futbol, as translated by the Independent.

“I need to be focused and when the transfer period arrives we will see what happens.

“I don’t know what will happen in the future. But I would like to be able to play for Boca. It’s a dream I have for what that institution represents.”

More Stories Dani Ceballos Granit Xhaka Lucas Torreira Martin Keown Unai Emery