Football

Torreira and Auba the new Vieira and Henry

New boys conjure up memories of Arsenal Invincibles

Two of the Gunners' new boys have resurrected memories of a couple of Arsenal legends after a pulsating 4-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the North London Derby on Sunday.

Arsenal playmaker Aaron Ramsey compared two-goal hero and English Premier League top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the club's record goalscorer Thierry Henry, while Henry's former teammate Martin Keown likened Lucas Torreira to another Gunners legend, in Patrick Vieira.

In his Daily Mail column Keown, who played alongside Vieira, wrote: "It was the best all-round midfield display I have seen in an Arsenal shirt since Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva used to run the show...

"From the first whistle, the Uruguayan controlled the midfield.

"He was utterly fearless, demanding the ball at all times, always eager to snap into tackles and snuff out danger...

"Dele Alli was magnificent against Chelsea last week, silencing Jorginho and stopping them from playing.

"Yesterday, he could not live with Torreira. The 22-year-old made the midfield his own.

"Going forwards, Torreira also excelled. He reads the game exceptionally and when he gets on the ball, he uses it intelligently to feed the quality at the top of the team.

"His emphatic goal proves he is a mean finisher, too."

Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville seemed to agree, saying the 22-year-old who signed from Sampdoria in July for £26.4m (S$46.1m) gives the Gunners the "nastiness" they have been missing.

He said on Sky Sports: "The way in which he goes about the game, with the ball at his feet, but he's fast into the tackle, nibbling all the time.

"He's horrible and Arsenal needed horribleness.

"It felt like they had that nastiness about them. They even started fighting with Eric Dier after he scored.

"And that's what you need in a great football club."

While Torreira provided the grit at the Emirates, it was Aubameyang who provided the finesse. His second goal was testament to that, with his excellent first-time finish from Ramsey's pass a joy to behold.

Said the Welshman: "It was unbelievable, but he does that in training all the time.

"He just eases the ball into the corners but with pace as well.

"It reminds me of Thierry Henry's finishes."

Aubameyang now leads the EPL scoring charts on 10 goals, ahead of Sergio Aguero (eight), Harry Kane (eight) and Mohamed Salah (seven).

Former Liverpool and England defender Jamie Carragher believes the Gabonese striker, who signed from Borussia Dortmund in January for £56 million (S$97.9m), is underrated compared in that company.

He told Sky Sports: "I have always looked at (Alexandre) Lacazette and thought he was a good player. I am actually looking at this guy and thinking he is a great player...

A SUPERSTAR

"He could be a superstar in the Premier League that man.

"We don't speak about him enough. We think of Kane and Aguero but he has gone under the radar in terms of the Premier League.

"Since he came in last January at the end of the (Arsene) Wenger era, his actual ratio of goals, his actual conversion rate, is as good as anyone in the Premier League."

Aubameyang, meanwhile, warned he has not hit top form yet.

He said: "'I think I'm not at my 100 per cent, but it is coming... my best form is coming.

"I hope I'm at the same level (as Kane, Aguero and Salah) and I think so, yes.

"It's early in the season. We have good strikers in the Premier League, so it will be tough (to finish as top scorer)...

"Sometimes the coach puts me on the left side. But as I said, it's my favourite position, so on Sunday it was good."

Football