The uncertainty surrounding Chelsea could be the answer to Arsenal’s defensive woes as David Luiz has emerged as a target for the Gunners.
Arsenal are entering a new era at the Emirates Stadium with Unai Emery and he has targeted defensive reinforcement to try to transform Arsenal back into a Premier League contender.
Le 10 Sport report that Chelsea have turned down a £17.6 million offer from their London rivals, with Emery reportedly keen to add the Brazilian to next season’s defence, alongside the likes of Sokratis and Stephan Lichtsteiner.
Luiz, unfortunately, missed the end of the Premier League season and will miss the World Cup because of a knee injury, as well as a poor period of form, with Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger moving ahead of him in Antonio Conte’s pecking order.
However, he only played 17 games last season, so it is highly likely that he is available for the right price.
31-year-old Luiz has his critics.
He often wanders out of position and is prone to mistakes, but really, he would be a sizable upgrade for Arsenal in defence as Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny both struggled this past season.
Arsenal conceded 51 goals in 2017/18, nearly double the amount of eventual champions Manchester City. In fact, they conceded more than Burnley and Newcastle United as well. Emery needs to address this as early as possible and Luiz will immediately help to stop the bleeding at the back for Arsenal.
Luiz is also a winner, a vital ingredient that the Arsenal squad has lacked over recent years. Luiz would improve their defence, bring some leadership and fits well into Arsenal’s possession-based style of play.
For example, Luiz is comfortable on the ball, boasting an 85.4% passing accuracy, whilst making four long balls per game, displaying an ability to pass vertically. This was more than Mustafi, tho 0.4 less than Koscielny.
He did, however, make more tackles (1.8) and interceptions (2.2) per game, than Koscielny. The issue, though, is that Luiz is best in a back three, as it compensates for his frequent mistakes, but Emery is likely to switch to a back four, a system he used at Paris Saint-Germain. This makes Luiz significantly more vulnerable.
The current transfer market makes getting value very difficult. If Arsenal can sign Luiz for under £25 million it will be well worth it. Luiz is a proven player at the top level and will mark a sign of intent by the new Arsenal boss.
Will it happen?
Chelsea have still not clarified their managerial situation and there seems to be a large air of uncertainty over the club.
Luiz barely featured last season and fell out of favour with the club after their victorious Premier League campaign in 2016/17.
So, could Luiz leave? If Antonio Conte is still manager, then it is highly likely. If Chelsea appoint someone else, then it is anyone’s guess.
Luiz is a solid player, but is very much out of favour at the moment. Arsenal ought to be interested in his services if he is available and anything under £25 million would be a bargain.
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