Fulham take on Arsenal at Craven Cottage on Sunday in a London derby that will see a host of very interesting battles take place including in central midfield.
Both London clubs brought in reinforcements in that area of the pitch with Jean-Michael Seri and Lucas Torreira arriving in the capital during the summer.
So far at Fulham, Aleksandar Mitrovic has stolen all of the headlines due to his early-season goal-scoring exploits, while at Arsenal Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have made good starts to the new campaign.
But as well as the trio, Slavisa Jokanovic and Unai Emery will also be pleased with how Seri and Torreira have begun this season.
With that in mind, how do the two midfielders compare ahead of their potential encounter on Sunday?
Having previously attracted interest from the likes of Barcelona, Chelsea and Arsenal (via Sky Sports), the signing of Seri can only be seen as an absolute coup for Fulham.
And from Seri’s performances thus far, it is not hard to see why. With the attributes he possesses and has shown at Craven Cottage, he looks capable of playing for any team in the division.
The 27-year-old is great at creating chances from anywhere on the pitch thanks to his unique passing range, while his long-range shooting ability makes him a goal threat.
On top of that, Seri is also a hard worker in the middle of the park and is not afraid to put in a challenge.
The Ivory Coast international is well on his way to becoming the complete midfielder — if not already — and it would not be a surprise to see Chelsea or Arsenal resurrect their interest in him next summer.
TT Grade: A
Most of Torreira’s Premier League appearances have come off the bench but, when he has been called upon, the 22-year-old has made an impression and looks like the sort of player Arsenal have lacked in midfield for years now.
Speaking on Torreira after his cameo in Arsenal’s 2-1 victory over Newcastle United last month, Emery told the club’s official website: “I want to give every player confidence.
“I am very happy with Matteo [Guendouzi] and also very happy with Lucas. But maybe in the second half we needed a little more balance on the pitch with the positioning. Lucas gives us this balance.”
Too often in recent seasons, the Gunners have looked defensively vulnerable, a theme they have also carried into this one, or at last into their opening two games against Manchester City and Chelsea.
However, if Torreira’s displays during this early part of the campaign are anything to go by, then he should be able to help the team out in that department.
TT Grade: B
Seri and Torreira are two different type of midfielders. While Seri is the creative hub of his team, Torreira is the destroyer in his.
Going forward, alongside Guendouzi, Torreira can offer Arsenal’s back four some much needed protection.
However, the Uruguay international’s influence on the Arsenal team has yet to match Seri’s on Fulham.
And while he is younger and has every chance of becoming a better player in the future, Seri looks the more finished article in this moment of time.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!
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