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Diego Simeone hails Lucas Torreira after Arsenal midfielder makes Atletico debut

Diego Simeone has praised Lucas Torreira after the on-loan Arsenal midfielder made an impressive debut for Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

The Uruguay international sealed his loan move to Atletico on deadline day, while Arsenal signed Thomas Partey in a £45 million deal from the Spanish club.

Torreira had not featured for Arsenal before his switch to the Spanish capital but was immediately handed his first start after the international break as Atletico sealed a 2-0 win over Celta Vigo.

Torreira delivered a strong performance at the heart of Atletico’s midfield alongside Koke.

And Simeone has backed the 24-year-old to be a key player for his side.

‘He is a very hard-working boy, we are going to need him,’ Simeone said after the game.

‘He competes very well, he will give us a lot of strength there in the middle of the court, when he obviously picks up the pace of the game.

‘His speed characteristics, going out quickly in the circulation of the ball in the middle will generate more speed in that part of the middle of the pitch and well, hopefully he will find the best form.’

Torreira was also forced off in the second half due to cramp but the Uruguayan managed to play through the pain barrier and complete the match.

‘We knew that such annoyances could happen because it had been a long time since he played in this situation,’ said Simeone.

‘But from his first day here he showed what his characteristics were – a guy who is going to give absolutely everything.’

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Diego Forlan reveals what he told Man Utd boss Solskjaer about Facundo Pellistri

Diego Forlan has revealed that he gave a glowing reference to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer about Manchester United new boy Facundo Pellistri, even comparing him to an Old Trafford legend.

The 18-year-old was snapped up on deadline day in a £9million move from Uruguayan club Penarol, though the deal had been in the works for far longer with Solskjaer first reaching out to Forlan during lockdown.

Back then, the 41-year-old was still managing Penarol and had seen first hand exactly how good his young compatriot was and had no hesitation in recommending him to United.

‘He asked me lots of questions about Facundo and I gave him lots of answers,’ Forlan told the South China Morning Post about his conversations with Solskjaer, who he played alongside at United.

‘There was a lot of interest in the player and I could understand why. He’s very quick and goes past players easily. He was doing that even when it was not a good moment for the team.

‘He likes receiving the ball in midfield and moving forward with it. Even though he was young, I put him in my team every week. He can play on the right but also the left. He’s two-footed like I was and he tries to dribble like Ryan Giggs.

‘I told Ole he has a lot of potential, but he has to keep developing.

‘I told Facundo many times: “There are not players like you in Uruguay, but if you go to Europe, which attracts the best in the world, there will be many others who are very fast – and stronger than you too. You have potential but it depends on you to improve.”

‘Facundo is shy. He works hard, he trains hard, he’s professional. He speaks English and he went to a good private school. He has many attributes and I explained these to Ole.

‘But fans have to be patient because he’s 18 years old and has much hard work ahead of him. He’s at the start of his career.

‘He needs to understand that he has done nothing yet and that he’s not a star. He’s arriving at a big club and he’s done well to get to that point, but I’ve been there. It’s hard. You need dedication, lots of hard work and some luck too.

‘I told Facundo that Manchester is a good place because they don’t hurry players. They don’t rush; they will wait for him to improve. It’s a good city to be a professional too, a football city where the fans are respectful and supportive.’

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