Football

Pundit tips big-money signing to replace ‘wrong’ Arsenal regular in summer


Martin Keown insists Arsenal’s decision to sign David Luiz was ‘wrong from the off’ and he fully expects the Brazilian to depart Emirates Stadium this summer.

Luiz has often polarised supporter opinions and has been prone to making mistakes due to lapses in concentration.

But the 33-year-old has become a key part of Mikel Arteta’s side of late. As such, he looks likely to start Sunday’s north London derby against Tottenham.

However, Luiz was recently named as one of four big-name stars likely to be shown the exit door this summer.

That is an opinion that Keown shares. And he believes the Gunners should return to the transfer market in the summer to land another defender as a replacement for Luiz.

“When he came I said it was the wrong signing,” Keown said.

“I didn’t wait for six months or a year, I just felt it wasn’t the direction I would have gone in.

“I was looking at it from a defensive point of view, as what I’m looking for as a priority for a top defender in a one-v-one situation.

“David Luiz has surprised me with how well he has done but he needs to be in a back-five. He plays his best football in a five and at the moment we are playing in a four. So there is always that vulnerability.

“For that reason I would like to go in a different direction. We will see what happens in the summer, but they should be looking at strengthening. They have got to be.”


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David Luiz exit best for all concerned

Luiz is out of contract in the summer having signed a one-year extension in 2020.

It has been rumoured talks will soon begin on another 12-month deal. However, Keown is adamant a parting of ways would be best for all concerned.

Keown added: “Having not worked with him I don’t know what type of personality he is. Only the manager will know that.

“If he feels he is a good influence and he can help the youngsters, because there are a lot of young players that we need to look after and give them the right set of ideals moving forward.

“We are talking about someone who would think of the team before themselves if they weren’t playing. I think David Luiz would want to play and I’m sure he still has something to offer the game.

“We all have opinions on defending and his style is not something I am a massive fan of. That said, he has surprised me with how well he has done.

“He has done well in a physical sense in terms of heading and those types of things but I do feel he is vulnerable in one-v-one situations and we have seen that – so I would be surprised if he is kept on for another year.”

READ MORE: Arteta has message for Arsenal defenders over stopping ‘special’ Spurs trio

 





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