Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal Lucas Torreira Uruguay
Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo and Uruguay midfielder Lucas Torreira battle for possession in their Fifa World Cup round of 16 matchAlex Livesey/Getty Images

All Arsenal fans would have been hoping Portugal would find a way past Uruguay in the last 16 of the Fifa World Cup 2018 on Saturday, with that feeling only growing as each minute of the match progressed.

The reason? One little man called Lucas Torreira.

Just a few minutes of football, against Portugal, and up against the great Cristiano Ronaldo, were enough for everyone to see just why Arsenal are set to pay €30 million for the 22-year-old Uruguay international's services.

Having seen Torreira go about his business with some efficiency for Sampdoria, the man given the job of finding these gems – Sven Mislintat – clearly had no hesitation to go about finishing off a deal.

Now, all reports have suggested a transfer is as good as done, with the Sampdoria chief even admitting Torreira had been sold for €30 million – although he didn't mention to which club – and if that is indeed the case, then Arsenal have got themselves a bargain.

Torreira made his first start for Uruguay in the Fifa World Cup 2018 in the game against Russia, and he created an immediate impression. His little cameos in the previous two games had convinced Oscar Tabarez that Torreira deserved a starting berth and the midfielder certainly didn't let his manager down.

Against Russia, he was his usual terrier-like self, making tackles, interceptions and also providing some really dangerous set-pieces.

All of that and more were in play against Portugal.

Up against a more seasoned side, Torreira seemed to ramp up his skills.

Early in the game, the 22-year-old made sure a certain Ronaldo knew he was there, cutting across him and bringing the Portugal skipper down.

Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal Lucas Torreira Uruguay
The Lucas Torreira tackle on Cristiano Ronaldo that had the Arsenal fans purringPierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP/Getty Images

Then, Torreira followed that up by blocking a Ronaldo rasper, with the shot so strong that it left the midfielder wincing in pain.

There would be more blocked shots as the match progressed – another off Ronaldo included – but what impressed most was his discipline; his ability to do the job given to him, and do it to perfection.

For almost everything, you could see Torreira there to mop up, tackle or push the ball forward for the likes of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani to take advantage.

As every single Arsenal fan will tell you, one of the major flaws of the side under Arsene Wenger was the lack of a man sitting in the base of midfield and protecting his back-four.

Well, Mislintat and Unai Emery have certainly gone about quickly to solve that problem, with Gary Neville also a fan of Torreira.

"Torreira, the defensive midfielder, he gets back in every time," Neville said of the midfielder's performance against Portugal. "I don't know how many times, but he's always there to clear it."

So, the reason why Arsenal fans – other than the ones who support Uruguay, of course – would have preferred Portugal to go through is then the Torreira deal could be announced and all those fears of a late hitch in the deal be put to rest.

But hey, the other way to look at it is – if the deal is indeed pretty much complete and all that remains is an official announcement, once Torreira frees up from international duty – if Uruguay go deep in the tournament, with Torreira's reputation enhanced with each performance, Arsenal will have a new signing, who is confident and ready to make a big impression in the Premier League.

And that can't be a bad thing.