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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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Lucas Torreira's agent reveals Arsenal have advantage in loan deal with Atletico

Lucas Torreira’s agent has confirmed that Atletico Madrid do not have a purchase option in their loan deal for the Arsenal midfielder.

The Uruguayan completed his move to Diego Simeone’s side on deadline day, while the Gunners signed Thomas Partey after triggering his €50m (£45.3m) release clause with Atletico.

Fiorentina and Torino had also explored the possibility of signing Torreira earlier in the window.

But Torreira’s agent, Pablo Bentancur, has revealed that the midfielder was intent on joining Atletico and did not want to consider other options.

However, Atletico do not have a purchase option in their season-long loan deal for Torreira and could therefore be forced to pay a high price next summer if he impresses during his spell with Simeone.

‘Lucas’s operation was very complicated,’ Bentancur told Sport890.

‘Arsenal were targeting Thomas Partey and when the two clubs have a different objective it is difficult to be in the middle of the two operations.

‘We had other agreed-upon teams such as Roma, Fiorentina and Lazio, who play the Champions League, but Lucas was blunt. He told us that his goal was Atletico and that we get it for him and we work for the players.

‘He closed all the other possibilities, it either, ‘yes or yes’ to Atletico. Luckily in the end it was done.

‘They have agreed a loan for a year without a purchase option and the price is not defined, it will depend on his performance.

‘There is no option to buy because Arsenal had to pay the clause for Thomas.’

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