Arsenal centre-back David Luiz is expected to be offered the chance to extend his stay at the Emirates Stadium with a new contract.
The 33-year-old has entered the final six months of his deal with the Gunners and is facing an uncertain future. Luiz has been in and out of the squad this season, and it’s safe to say that he has divided opinions with his performances on the pitch.
After serving a suspension for an early red card in the 2-1 loss to Wolves, Luiz impressed in Sunday’s 4-2 victory over Leeds, forcing his way back into the side at the expense of Rob Holding, and The Independent claim manager Mikel Arteta still feels Luiz has plenty to offer the club.
On top of Luiz’s impact on the pitch, a large part of Arteta’s affection towards the Brazilian is his role as a mentor in Arsenal’s young side.
The squad is full of emerging stars like Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli, and those young players are understood to look up to Luiz, who has earned plenty of credit for his desire to support youngsters.
Arsenal’s policy is normally to offer one-year contracts to players over 30, although the Gunners have gone against that in the recent past. 31-year-old Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang signed on until 2023 last year, while 32-year-old Willian was handed a three-year contract upon his release from Chelsea last summer.
Arteta does not concern himself with the details of the contracts, although he has urged club officials to reach out to Luiz and get a deal done before he agrees a move elsewhere.
The Brazilian is currently free to discuss a contract with any overseas side ahead of a potential departure from the Emirates in the summer, and Arteta wants to avoid losing the most experienced player in his squad.
It’s news which will likely divide the Arsenal fanbase. Luiz’s quality is clear to see, but so is his penchant for disaster.
Known for regular lapses in concentration, many supporters are keen to move on from the high-earning defender, particularly as Arsenal have some younger talents who are all vying for minutes.
Fellow Brazilian Gabriel Magalhaes looks set to be a core part of the Gunners’ future, while Rob Holding was recently tied down to his own new deal, and there’s also the small matter of William Saliba’s future to deal with.
The 19-year-old, who is now on loan with Nice, hasn’t exactly spoken highly of either Arteta or Arsenal since his return to France, but club officials are still thought to see the teenager as a potential star of their future.
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