Why David Luiz has been our best signing from the Summer
By Rob Worhtington
If you had told me at the end of September 2019 after David Luiz gave away away an innocuous penalty against Watford to throw away three valuable points that I would be writing an article 6 months later supporting the notion that he has turned out to be our signing of the season, I would have laughed you out of the room. Nonetheless, here I am.
Despite the wonderful start to life for Gabriel Martinelli in North London and the glimpses of magic shown by both Dani Ceballos and Nicolas Pépé, I think David Luiz has been the stand out performer out of 2019’s five Summer signings.
Since the arrival of Mikel Arteta at the club in late December, when our season properly started, David Luiz has been in inspired form. The former Chelsea man is someone Arteta just hasn’t been able to leave out of his team. Whether it has been playing alongside Calum Chambers, Shkodran Mustafi or Pablo Marí, the centre-back has looked absolutely formidable.
The £8 million man has missed just one game since The Spaniard took charge and that was enforced due to suspension. This shows that Arteta clearly feels Luiz is an important cog in his machinery and this to me is completely understandable. The Brazilian has marshaled the Arsenal defence to 8 clean sheets since mid December and has also been crucial in our build up play. His impressive eye for a defence- splitting pass was shown to be important against Everton at the Emirates where he grabbed an assist and against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park where he played a brilliant pass to allow Alex Lacazette to set-up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to put Arsenal in front.
He has also stepped up as a leader. Our most decorated player is constantly barking out orders and setting an example to the rest of his team-mates. He was shown to be wearing an invisible armband against Sheffield United at the Emirates when he picked up a disappointed Martinelli in the dying embers of the game as he recognised there was still time to get a goal and no time to be moping around. He was rewarded for his improvement in this aspect of his game by deservedly gaining the responsibility of the captaincy against Portsmouth in the FA Cup.
Whether you like him or not, whether you think his best years are behind him or whether you think the form of David Luiz is temporary, you cannot deny that he has been our most consistent performer under Arteta. There has not been a game in which he hasn’t played with his heart on his sleeve.
He may not be the long-term solution in our defence that we all wanted to see brought in last summer, but of late his acquisition is looking like a brilliant piece of business. He has reportedly been justly rewarded with a contract extension and I cannot think of many better players to act as a mentor to this young squad for the future. We all know David Luiz isn’t perfect, but right now, I’m so glad that Edu persuaded him to come and represent the Arsenal red and white last August.