Arsenal would surely benefit by holding onto 33-year-old veteran despite lacklustre start


Why Arsenal should hand David Luiz a new long-term contract

According to a report from Sky Sports, Arsenal defender David Luiz is out of contract at the end of the season, with negotiations over a new deal yet to take place. It was widely claimed that Luiz had signed a two-year contract upon joining Arsenal. But the report states that the Brazilian was given just a year-long deal, and negotiations over a new one haven’t begun yet.

Luiz started at the academy of Sao Paulo FC, before switching to EC Vitoria in 2001. Six years later, in January 2007, the centre-back joined Portuguese outfit Benfica. He made 130 appearances for the club, bagging six goals, before Chelsea signed him in January 2011. He spent three and a half years at the club, before signing for PSG in the summer of 2014.

Arsenal's David Luiz blocks a cross against West Ham (Getty Imgaes)
Arsenal’s David Luiz blocks a cross against West Ham (Getty Images)

After two years and 89 appearances, the 33-year-old returned to Chelsea. Across his two spells, Luiz featured 248 times for the Blues, scoring 18 goals. Last summer saw him make the move to Arsenal, where he has been a permanent fixture in the backline.

In total, the Brazilian international has made 32 appearances for Arsenal since joining the club. He has chipped in with two goals and an assist.

As usual, the Gunners’ defence has been a problem over the course of the campaign. Till date, they have conceded 36 goals in the Premier League, and have made four errors that have led to goals.

Things have improved drastically though, since Mikel Arteta took over the reins at the club. Arsenal have secured 7 clean sheets in 15 matches under the Spaniard, conceding just 11 times.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta on the touchline (Getty Images)
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta on the touchline (Getty Images)

And Luiz has been an important part of this new-found defensive solidity under the new boss. The 33-year-old has featured in 14 of the 15 matches that Arteta has managed till date. He has even captained the team on one occasion since the managerial change at the Emirates Stadium. This is an indicator of his standing at the club under the new boss.

At 33, he doesn’t have a long time left at the top level. And while he did make some mistakes early on at Arsenal, Luiz has recovered well and has been a key part of their resurgence under Arteta. Hence, extending his stay at the club by another year would serve them well.

Given his experience, Luiz’s presence would also allow William Saliba, who will return from his loan spell, to learn from the Brazilian’s experience and get integrated into the first-team.

David Luiz (Getty Images)
Arsenal defender David Luiz in action (Getty Images)

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David Luiz has made mistakes during his short time at Arsenal, but has been an important player since Arteta’s arrival. The 33-year-old has missed just one of the 15 games under the Spaniard and has helped Arsenal get more solid at the back.

Given his experience, he would also benefit the younger players in the squad. Hence, handing him a one-year contract would be a wise move for Arsenal.