Date: 19th March 2019 at 9:41am
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Lucas Torreira came close to joining Napoli last summer prior to his big switch to Arsenal.

The Gunners paid Sampdoria £22m for Torreira to join last summer.

The diminutive midfielder has become an instant hit with the Arsenal faithful, particularly after scoring in the 4-2 north London derby win back in December.

Arsenal will meet Napoli in the Europa League quarter-final next month and the Uruguayan is likely to be a prominent player in the tie having emerged….

]However, according to Torreira’s dad Ricardo, his son almost stayed in Italy rather than moving to London as a deal with Napoli was ‘very close’.

Torreira started his professional career in Italy with Pescara whom he joined from Montevideo Wanderers in his homeland before moving to Sampdoria in 2015. The 23-year

Lucas Torreira joined Arsenal in 2018

Speaking to Radio Marte (via Metro), Torreira senior said: ‘It’s true, Lucas was very close to Napoli. There were negotiations with Napoli, but something strange happened, and you know in the transfer market things can change from one moment to the next.

‘Negotiations are long and complicated processes, so it can happen than they don’t go the way we expected. There was this opportunity to go to England and Lucas took it, so I have to say he is happy at Arsenal.

‘Obviously, Lucas is very fond of Italian football, where he grew up, and might return to Italy in future. You can never say never, so it’s possible he could come back to this marvellous country and, why not to Napoli or another club that makes an offer?’