Ex-Spurs boss tells Arteta to keep £8m Emery signing away from Arsenal XI
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Ex-Spurs boss tells Arteta to keep £8m Emery signing away from Arsenal XI

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It looked certain this time last week that Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta would be the next manager to face the sack. However, back-to-back wins against Chelsea and Brighton has changed the mood around the club and our young guns are to thank for that.

Arteta showed his faith in our youngsters against Chelsea. He handed starts to Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe, and the trio were outstanding at the Emirates on Saturday.

Their performances forced Arteta to play them again, and although didn’t start as brightly as they did against Chelsea, they had a brilliant impact and helped us get a much-needed victory over our bogey team.

My Revenge On Ben Foster

Arteta now has a decision to make for the game this weekend. Nicolas Pepe didn’t feature last night and he will be raring to go. Willian and David Luiz are also expected to return to the squad, but Tim Sherwood feels that the Brazilian centre-half should be kept away from the starting XI.

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The former Spurs boss told Amazon Prime: “I think the key is the continuity and keeping the same side if they’re fit. Saka is an injury doubt now, he limped off. Hopefully, he’ll be fine. Keep with it. If you’re going to tweak it, maybe Lacazette or Aubameyang.”

“But when Luiz is back fit, resist the temptation. They’re the ones who let you down before. They’re the ones who have put you in that trouble. The kids have got you out of it, stick with the kids.”

Should Luiz return to the starting XI?

Unai Emery signed the Brazilian for £8 million in 2019 (Sky Sports), and he has had his problems. However, he brings much-needed experience and leadership into our young squad, and that is extremely valuable.

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Sadly though, there seems to be no way back for Luiz. Rob Holding has nailed down a place for himself, while Pablo Mari has been brilliant in both games. Gabriel will be back after the game this weekend and he has been our best player this season.

Calum Chambers also did well when he featured in the Europa League a few weeks ago, while Kieran Tierney has proved to be a solid option if we revert to a back three for some reason in the coming games.

That gives the Arsenal boss enough options in defence. Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi are almost certain to leave the club in the summer. Playing them ahead of players who will be with us next season unless it is absolutely necessary makes zero sense, and Arteta – as Sherwood claimed – should ‘resist the temptation’.

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