Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira has been strongly linked with a move away from the club in recent days.

Rumours first circulated in the summer that Torreira was keen to leave north London, although these were quickly dispelled.

But speculation over the 23-year-old’s future is now rife once again as the January transfer window looms and AC Milan are thought to be interested.

The Uruguay international’s agent Raffaele Bentancur has also publicly spoken of Torreira’s discontent and admitted the midfielder isn’t best pleased with how he’s being used at Arsenal.

READ MORE: Podcast: Arsenal’s season so far, Unai Emery’s future and the few positives

He told Radio Marte: “Anything is possible in football. Torreira is happy at Arsenal, although the change in role has not made him happy.”

And you can’t blame Torreira for being disillusioned.

Why Emery is to blame for Torreira’s frustration

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When Lucas Torreira arrived at the club in the 2018 summer transfer window, we were absolutely delighted.

Finally we had that reliable defensive midfielder we’ve been craving to sit in front of the back four and protect them.

Torreira impressed with his early performances – he was solid, aggressive, constantly winning the ball back and for £26million, it looked like we’d got ourselves a real bargain.

His display and goal to seal in the 4-2 win against Tottenham at the Emirates in December 2018 elevated Torreira’s status among the fans even higher. Everyone loved him.

And the reason everyone loved him is because he was playing as a central defensive midfielder, the role he knows best.

Lucas Torreira is being played out of position

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But this season, for some reason, Unai Emery has decided not only to use Torreira sparingly – he’s only started four Premier League games, two of which have been since Xhaka’s exclusion from the squad – but also to frequently play him out of position.

And this is where the frustration of both Torreira and the fans really lies.

His best position – the one which he does so well for Uruguay, the one he played in all season for Sampdoria and was the main reason we signed him – is as a defensive midfielder.

We can all see it. Except Emery it seems.

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The Arsenal head coach told Sky Sports earlier this month: “We have Torreira, who is capable of playing a pressing game and playing in the build-up play, but who is also very good at arriving in the box as the second line of attack.”

It reiterated a worrying reality that Emery doesn’t view Torreira as a reliable defensive midfielder and instead perceives him as a player who he wants to push forward.

And it just feels like a massive mistake. We aren’t utilising Torreira in his best role and it’s painful to watch.

READ MORE: What Alex Lacazette has said about Unai Emery’s Arsenal future and poor results

Even when he finally played at the base of a midfield against Leicester, it was with a back five, offering no extra support in the middle of the pitch and Arsenal were easily outnumbered three-to-two throughout the entire game.

Torreira’s agent Bentancur added: “It must be said that this year the whole team is not doing well.

“But I believe Arsenal wants to keep him.”

Maybe we would be doing a little better and stand more chance of retaining Torreira’s services if we utilised him in the position he knows best.

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