Arsenal was one of the clubs I was looking forward to seeing play the most once the league restarted. Mikel Arteta’s appointment definitely had a positive effect on the players and the atmosphere at Emirates Stadium as a whole.
It was evident that the Spaniard has a lot of work ahead of him to put the Gunners back among the top spots in the Premier League but there’s no doubt that the first signs since he took over have been quite positive.
Unfortunately for Arsenal’s faithful, the team didn’t get off to a good start this month.
They looked toothless against an average Man City team and got beat 3:0 before squandering a one-goal lead at Brighton over the weekend.
These games once again showcased the team’s weaknesses in defense and fans and pundits rightfully tear into the board and manager for failing to address what has been the biggest problem for quite a while now.
On top of all that, the club announced that Brazilian defender David Luiz will be extending his stay with the London outfit for a further year.
It came as a big surprise to me, as this was hardly the perfect time to make such a move.
Luiz was woeful against Manchester City and practically handed the victory to Guardiola’s team.
His awkward clearance of the ball led to Sterling opening the scoring and he was then the player who brought down Riyad Mahrez in the box for which he got himself sent off.
Kevin De Bruyne put the ball in the net from the penalty spot and ended any form of Arsenal resistance which prompted the fanbase to take aim at their Brazilian defender once again.
Given all the turmoil that is currently happening within the club, I decided to take an in-depth look at the decision to extend David Luiz’s contract and share my thoughts on whether this was the right move for the Gunners.
Should Arsenal Have Signed A New Contract with David Luiz?
I’m sure that Arsenal fans will have an easy answer to this question right now but there are nuances to it.
First of all, David Luiz is one of the most experienced defenders in the Premier League and has had huge success with teams such as Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain.
Many of the current players have spoken about Luiz’s professionalism and positive influence in the dressing room and I believe Arteta does cherish these qualities in his Brazilian defender.
That being said, Luiz is still a key part of Arsenal’s squad and it is expected of him to perform at a certain standard.
This hasn’t happened so far and given his past at Stamford Bridge, the Arsenal faithful don’t need much to turn against him to be honest.
I believe this has now reached a boiling point and announcing a one-year extension to his contract right after he basically gifted Man City three points was not the wisest move from Raul Sanllehi and Edu Gaspar.
It’s evident that Arteta believes Luiz has a role to play in his squad as the manager was quite graceful about his poor performance against Pep’s side.
Given that he has a lot of inexperienced young defenders, the Brazilian’s presence can definitely benefit them going forward but it will be really hard to come back from what has been a disastrous season for him.
For quite a while now, there has been a sense at Emirates Stadium that Luiz is resting on old laurels and his individual mistakes have completely overshadowed his status of a cerebral defender who is comfortable on the ball.
On the other hand, the Arsenal board is under fire on a lot of fronts so I can definitely see why they wanted to put their faith in some of the players they brought it.
Taking another turn would not have looked good for a management board that had assured fans they have a concrete plan in place to help turn the club’s fortunes when they first took over.
Even if there’s some truth to this, though, I think they could’ve been a bit more flexible on this concrete matter.
Luiz is already 33 and extending his deal at a time when his stock has plummeted so greatly looks more like a desperate measure to keep the structure they have in place right now rather than a shrewd decision to improve the chances of the team returning to the Champions League soon.
Sure, the Brazilian has the experience and know-how to improve his form and if he does have Arteta’s blessing this can be a big bonus for him.
However, to me it seems that his Arsenal career has hit the final roadblock here, which is sad to see especially when he was never really got going at the Emirates Stadium.