David Luiz has hardly set the world on fire during his year with Arsenal. In fairness, though, he has delivered some decent, as opposed to dazzling, displays during his time with the Gunners since joining from Premier League rivals Chelsea last summer.
But he has also been guilty of some calamitous defending with the latest blot in his copybook coming when he was sent off, after giving away a spot kick in the 3-0 drubbing at Manchester City in the top-flight comeback match for Mikel Arteta’s side. He hadn’t started the game and had come on as a first-half sub for the injured Pablo Mari.
Many fans and critics thought, given that the Samba ace was at the end of his initial 12-month contract at the Emirates Stadium, that he had perhaps kicked his last ball for the Gunners and that he would move on with the suggestion in the media in the previous weeks being that a new deal wasn’t on the cards.
But today Arsenal have announced that Brazilian-capped central defender Luiz, who is aged 33, has agreed a new one-year deal. Many supporters are flabbergasted and have swamped social media with messages venting their anger. But, Arteta is the boss and surely knows better than a few keyboard warriors? The arguments will rage on, no doubt.
Luiz isn’t the only signing made public today by the club. Defenders Portugal right-back Mari (from Brazilian side Flamengo) and Spanish centre-half Cedric Soares (from Premier League Southampton) have also joined the club permanently at the conclusion of loan deals. And midfield playmaker Dani Ceballos has extended his loan from Spanish giants Real Madrid until the end of this the current campaign, too.
Arsenal’s technical director Edu, a firmer Gunners player who won a clutch of silverware with the north London giants, commented that he was really happy that the club has secured the services of the players for the future. He added:
“They have been part of the long-term technical plan manager Mikel Arteta and I have developed. They bring the right balance to our squad.”
As for Luiz, Edu stressed that the experienced stopper was a really important player for the team, picking out some positives rather than the perhaps over-analysed negatives. He believes Luiz’s passing, his communication with the team on and off the pitch are second to none and that in the final analysis, “he helps everyone”.
As well intentioned as the announcement is from Arsenal regards Luiz, a quick glance at Twitter in particular will tell you that the majority of disgruntled Gooners who use the platform don’t believe for one minute that he helps everyone!
Football, eh? Don’t you just love it!