We all saw what happened with David Luiz in the game against Man City on Wednesday, and after the game the Brazilian admitted that it was his contract situation with Arsenal that was causing him to lose concentration on the pitch.
After the City match Mikel Arteta said that he knew it was a problem, but in the pre-match conference ahead of the Brighton game, the boss said that he couldn’t promise Luiz a new contract at the moment until all the financial implications had been assessed. “We cannot forget the financial situation,” Arteta told the Independent.
“The way that Covid-19 has hit every club and the economy in general, it’s going to have an impact.
“What the club is doing at the moment is assessing the situation and trying to clarify a lot of uncertainties that we have in the future.
“We have to make big decisions and time-wise it is difficult to fit them in with our needs. We are trying our best and the club is trying their best.
“It is difficult sometimes because it puts the player or our sporting necessities in a difficult situation. Again, we have to adapt. It is what it is.
“That is why I wanted to protect David yesterday. That is why I did not start him. But it’s a funny game and after 20 minutes you need him, a player who has had a lot of uncertainty in the last few weeks.
“Don’t forget that we have accepted a pay cut, not only the players and the staff, to try to help the situation. I think it was an incredible gesture of unity and commitment from everybody working at the football club that I am very proud of.”
So, that sounds to me like Arsenal are stringing Luiz along while we still have games to play this season, but the economic reality means that he will not get an extension. He is now 33 and as we already have Sokratis, Holding, Mustafi, Pablo Mari, and the French youngster William Saliba joining us shortly, and maybe Mavropanos back from loan as well. I said the other day that I thought that Sokratis would be the first defender to leave. Now I think I may have been wrong!