Serie A side AS Roma are interested in signing Arsenal’s Uruguayan midfielder Lucas Torreira, and they are proposing a swap deal with Amadou Diawara going the other way, according to Italian outlet La Gazzetta.
Arsenal are reportedly interested in Diawara and, even though the Guinean midfielder is liked in Rome, the good relationship between the two clubs could make the swap deal a possibility.
Torreira and Diawara have similar profiles, with both being defensive midfielders, and are also a similar age, being 24 and 23 respectively, so a swap deal does seem realistic. However, in terms of play style, they are two different players.
Torreira is best described as a ‘ball winning midfielder’, someone who has good defensive awareness, positioning and is strong in the tackle, even though he stands at just 5’5”. However, Diawara, who is 6’0” in contrast, is a more able ball carrier and passer than the Uruguayan.
Even though the pair play in different leagues, they are an excellent comparison, with Diawara playing just 13 minutes more than Torreira in their respective domestic leagues, whilst also playing in the same position.
In possession last season, Diawara was far superior to Torreira, averaging more key passes and obtaining a greater pass success rate than the Uruguayan. However, what truly separates the two, is the number of passes the Guinean makes, along with his range of passing.
Diawara completes, on average, 14.3 more passes per game than Torreira, and he almost triples the average number of long passes the Arsenal man makes each match, making 3.2 in comparison to the Uruguayan’s 1.2. Having a greater pass success rate, whilst making more complex passes, really demonstrates his on-the-ball superiority.
However, off the ball, it is a more even match up between the two. Whilst Diawara completed significantly more tackles per game than Torreira, 1.8 compared to 1.1, and more interceptions, 1.5 in comparison to 1.2, the Uruguayan is superior in most other defensive areas.
Torreira commits just 0.8 fouls per game, less than Diawara’s 1.3, and the Arsenal midfielder has also been dribbled past less than the Guinean. The Uruguayan has also made more blocks and clearances than Diawara, however some could perceive the latter stat as Torreira having less composure around his own box than the Roma midfielder.
In comparison to Arsenal’s starting midfield duo Dani Ceballos and Granit Xhaka however, the competition is a lot tighter. Whilst Diawara boasts the best pass success rate and has played the same number of long passes as Ceballos, it is the Swiss midfielder who sees himself superior overall in the passing category.
Xhaka has played a very impressive 4.1 long passes per game, demonstrating the midfielder’s superb range of passing, and averages 16 more completed passes in each match than Diawara.
Defensively, Diawara has made the most interceptions and has completed just 0.1 less tackles per game than Arsenal’s best in this area, Dani Ceballos. The Spaniard has also committed less fouls than everyone else, while Xhaka has made the most blocks.
Overall, if this deal were to happen, I believe it would be a good transfer for both parties, although, in my opinion, Arsenal would be the happier of the two teams. One of the major areas that is in need of improvement for the Gunners is the midfield, and I think Diawara would be a better option than Torreira, and be of a similar standard to Arsenal’s current starting pair.
As the Gunners are looking to sign Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey, who in my opinion would become Arsenal’s best midfielder, adding Diawara to the squad would give Arsenal some good depth in their midfield options, especially if they manage to keep Ceballos for at least another season.