David Luiz’s New Deal
David Luiz is set to put pen to paper and sign a further 12 month contract extension with the Gunners, if reports are to be believed.
The Brazilian joined Arsenal from London rivals Chelsea in August 2019, for a fee of £8m. David arrived with an impressive CV, winning the Premier League, Champions League and Europa League during two stints at Chelsea, while also winning major trophies at PSG. He would certainly add some experience to a youthful Arsenal side.
Luiz’s initial contract was just 1 year, although originally reported as a 2 year deal by Sky Sports. He secured a 12 month extension at the back end of last season, to the distaste of many Arsenal fans. However, he did receive some plaudits for taking a pay cut on this new deal. Now 33 years of age, David Luiz is set to be ‘rewarded’ with a fresh extension for his positive influence at the club, rather than his performances on the pitch.
The positive role the Brazilian plays in the dressing room is no secret. Unai Emery was first to speak on the impact David Luiz had at the club, shortly after his transfer from Chelsea. The Spanish coach claimed David was ‘helping’ the young Guns in the squad, through his exemplary ‘behaviour’ and ‘commitment.’ “He is every time speaking about positive things. He is helping the young players.” This is something Arteta has recently echoed. Speaking at the end of January, Mikel labelled our number 23 “a great example” for Arsenal’s youngsters – “They all listen to him because of who he is and what he’s done in the game. But also because how he behaves every day, how professional he is and how he goes about the job. He is one of the key role models that we have in our team.”
It’s not just coaches that have positive things to say about the 33 year-old’s influence. Speaking in July 2020, Saka reserved special praise for David Luiz and how he helped him settle into the first team, making him feel ‘loved’ and ‘welcomed.’ Gabriel Magalhães also commended David for the support he provided, following his £27m arrival from Lille in the summer – perhaps a key factor in helping Gabriel settle so quickly into the Premier League. But should influence trump performances when it comes to a new deal?
The Brazilian has featured 63 times for Arsenal, across all competitions. But his defensive performances leave much to be desired. During his 18 months in North London, David has conceded 6 penalties, 5 of which came last campaign (the most conceded by any player in a Premier League season). He has also been shown three red cards. His performances are regularly prone to criticism from pundits, with Gary Neville once likening his defensive displays to being controlled by a 10 year-old on a PlayStation. But Arteta has refused to give up on the centre back.
Since the turn of the year, David Luiz has regularly featured in the Gunner’s starting XI. Of the 10 league and cup games Arsenal have played in 2021, disregarding the controversial sending off at Molineux, David has played every minute of 6 games, conceding just 3 goals. Clearly, Arteta still values the 33 year-old’s contribution on the pitch, as well as off it – recently calling him “a joy to work with.”
David Luiz’s potential new contract is likely to split the Emirates fanbase. His poor disciplinary record and inconsistent displays will have some fans calling for a summer exit. However, his well-publicised positive influence and impressive recent performances will have others calling for another new deal. Regardless, with the Brazilian’s contract up in a matter of months, a decision will have to be made on his future very soon.
Photo Credit: Flickr
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