Lucas Torreira got another 45 minutes for Atletico Madrid on Monday, suggesting he’s going to get more of a chance between now and May.

PAMPLONA, SPAIN: Lucas Torreira of Atletico de Madrid celebrates after scoring his teams 3rd goal during the La Liga Santander match between C.A. Osasuna and Atletico de Madrid at Estadio El Sadar on October 31, 2020. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
PAMPLONA, SPAIN: Lucas Torreira of Atletico de Madrid celebrates after scoring his team’s 3rd goal during the La Liga Santander match between C.A. Osasuna and Atletico de Madrid at Estadio El Sadar on October 31, 2020. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

The Arsenal loanee didn’t make the starting lineup for Atletico Madrid on Monday against Celta, but Diego Simeone gave him the chance to play a full half by bringing him on at the break at 1-1.

The midfielder had a decent half, completing 19 of his 24 passes, winning four of six individual duels, and making two tackles. They took the lead, but unfortunately, a very late equaliser for Celta to make it 2-2 denied his team the three points.

Still, it’s Torreira’s fifth consecutive league appearance, which is encouraging. He’s only made one start in those five games, but he’s now played 45 minutes in three of them.

To put that in context, he’s played 148 minutes in the last five league games after playing just 200 in the previous 12. Clearly, that’s a slight improvement.

It’s not enough, and we need to see Torreira starting more matches and playing more than 45 minutes at a time. It’s not a fitness problem, as he played the full 90 minutes for Atletico twice in the Copa del Rey in December and January.

In January, Mikel Arteta admitted Torreira wasn’t playing enough, and they held talks about his loan spell. But the player decided to stick it out, and we can only hope Simeone eventually rewards that loyalty with starts.

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