Following the controversial departure of Laurent Koscielny to Bordeaux, David Luiz was brought in for £8 million on the deadline day from arch-rivals Chelsea, who no longer wanted him. The Brazilian struggled initially under Unai Emery. But the arrival of Arteta midway through the season has given a new lease of life for the ex-Chelsea man, who put a series of influential performances to become the undisputed starter under the Spaniard.
Reports have emerged that the Brazilian has signed for just a year and that the Arsenal management is unwilling to sanction a contract extension. Luiz seems happy to extend his stay in North London, and it would be foolish on the part of the Gunners’ hierarchy to not extend his contract as his influence on and off the pitch has proven valuable thus far.
An attacking center-back
The Brazilian is one of the finest ball-playing defenders in the world. As soon as he receives the ball, Luiz looks to ping it into the path of an attacker. Such a trait is invaluable while playing against the teams that tend to employ high-press.
Although erratic sometimes, the veteran is capable of stunning long-range passes and slipping in through balls at will. The Gunners have some of the world’s fastest attackers in their ranks, and Luiz’s skillset would provide perfect ammunition for the marksmen to counterattack.
A dressing room leader
|“He is one of the nicest guys I have met, he talks to you, give you advice and makes everyone feel like he is giving you his undivided attention.” – Calum Chambers on David Luiz|
The list of available center-back options at Arsenal includes David Luiz(33), Sokratis Papastathopoulos(33), Shkodran Mustafi(28), Rob Holding(24), Calum Chambers(25), Pablo Mari(26), William Saliba(19) and Dinos Mavropanos(22) with the latter two out on loan and Pablo Mari yet to be signed permanently.
With reports circulating widely that Mustafi and Sokratis are likely to be put up for sale, the inexperienced defenders need someone to guide them and David Luiz can certainly do the job. His influence on the squad is unparalleled on the squad as the likes of Mikel Arteta, Joe Willock, and Gabriel Martinelli has highlighted his importance on various occasions.
The Gunners will welcome William Saliba for the next season and the veteran would be more than a capable mentor for the young French prodigy who may need a bit of time to adapt to the league.
Furthermore, the Brazilian has been a serial winner throughout his career, winning championships in Portugal, England, and France. Not to forget the Champions League triumph with Chelsea in 2012 when he displayed phenomenal courage to play in the final in Munich with an injured hamstring. His leadership abilities are vital for the club that faced criticism in the recent past for the lack of leaders in their ranks.
The Gunners would be wise to retain the services of the Brazilian for another year.