Arsenal’s boss, Mikel Arteta was handed his first major warning over the harsh reality of his club’s transfer plans as he doesn’t want to lose David Luiz
In football terms, there isn’t much to debate when Arsenal considers whether to take up the one year option in David Luiz’s contract.
Certainly, his early weeks in North London were pockmarked with errors all too familiar to Chelsea fans but for greater than they witnessed at Stamford Bridge. In 160 games for the Blues, Luiz conceded three penalties. He matched that tally in 24 games in an Arsenal jersey.
Yet, by the time football reached its temporary hiatus, Luiz had firmly established himself as one of the most crucial components of Arteta’s short-term plans. The Brazilian was one of only three players, along with Mesut Ozil and Bernd Leno, to start every Premier League game for the Spaniard.
Luiz was fundamental to Arteta’s tactical plans. His ability to push the team forward from deep and unleash Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with incisive through balls of vital importance to Arsenal’s build-up play.
Off the field he has been one of the most important champions of Arteta’s work, swiftly buying into the overarching message and the forthright demands that the Spaniard gave on his arrival in December. Luiz may only have arrived at Arsenal in August but he immediately became an influential figure in the dressing room much admired by younger squad members.
He even found understudies of his own in Gabriel Martinelli and Pablo Mari. The latter arrived in January to find Luiz eager to meet with work alongside this new Spanish center-back who had been so crucial in earning a Copa Libertadores and Brazilian league double for his mentor, Flamengo boss, Jorge Jesus.
Luiz is a vocal cheerleader for his Arsenal team-mated and crucially for his manager. Arteta will not have failed to notice that this center-back recently described him as the nearest he could hope to get to work with Guardiola.
“I am grateful because I made another dream come true. Not in a concrete way, but in a different way. I always had the dream of working with Pep”.
“I couldn’t work with him. But I’m, having the opportunity to work with a person who grew up and learned and was victorious with him, who has the same ideas”.
That admiration is shared by Arteta, who is understood to be reluctant to let David Luiz go. It is worth noting that the Brazilian’s dressing room influence has not always been leverage for good and during his interim tenure, Ljungberg is understood to have not looked entirely favorably on Luiz’s role during the weeks before Unai Emery’s sacking.