Arsenal and David Luiz have grown together so well that hearing that he may leave after this season is so strangely depressing.
Arsenal‘s defense is sure to be the talk of far too many transfer rumors this coming transfer window, and part of the reason is that no one knows who’s even going to be here next year. The only people we know for sure are… William Saliba?
Not even David Luiz is a sure-fire bet anymore, where once he looked to be the veteran presence to guide this defense into the next era.
Luiz came to the Emirates to much chagrin, as fans were less than pleased that the Gunners would add another “clown” defender when we already had Shkodran Mustafi. Yet after Unai Emery left, Luiz became something of a sensation for Mikel Arteta, solidifying his defensive presence while pairing it well with his established ability to carry the ball like a midfielder.
David Luiz could, but probably won’t, leave Arsenal
The plan had been to let him have another year at the Emirates alongside a young core of new defenders. Not just William Saliba, but Calum Chambers, maybe another signing like Jonathan Tah, and work in Rob Holding or Konstantinos Mavropanos.
It’s great to think we could staff with all young, promising guys, but you need some kind of veteran leadership too, and of all the older defenders we have on this club—Sokratis and Mustafi, for instance—Luiz was the best option by a longshot because he was the one guy who stepped up most when Arteta needed it. Sokratis continues to fall from the spectrum and Mustafi will always be Mustafi.
Rumors had already tied both Sokratis and Mustafi to an exit, but Luiz was supposed to have that one year option agree upon for another year. From there, Saliba and whatever other youngsters we could find could grow around his experience.
Which is why it’s so depressing to think that this plan may not be the plan at all. Luiz spoke at length about his love of Benfica and desire to play there before he was all done in his career and in case you haven’t noticed, he is almost done in his career. This year pick-up by the Gunners could conceivably be his last.
Not if he has somewhere else to be, though. Maybe he plans to go to Portugal after this last year at the Emirates. That’s probably the most likely situation here. But you know how rumors get.