David Luiz has been a mainstay in the Arsenal defence this season, whether under manager’s Unai Emery, Freddie Ljungberg or Mikel Arteta, but that could well be about to change.
It has been widely reported that the Spanish boss is keen to have a left-footed defender fielded in one of the two centre-back slots, which will more than likely go to Pablo Mari should our club sign him permanently from Flamengo.
The Spanish defender is currently on loan at present, but has already admitted that he wants an extended stay at the Emirates Stadium.
Our club is also being continually linked with a number of other defensive options, but the biggest danger to Luiz is William Saliba.
The 19 year-old was signed from St Etienne last summer, before being allowed to see out the current season on-loan with his former club, and is very much an all-round defender.
Saliba is strong, fast, and with technical and passing ability beyond his years. The youngster may not have the immediate pressure of starting every game next term, but I would be very surprised if he didn’t start 90% of our matches from December onwards.
David Luiz may well be forced to take a backup role once Saliba has settled, and that could see the Brazilian grow frustrated with a lack of regular action.
Recent reports seem to claim that Luiz is keen to extend his current deal however, with just over 12 months remaining on his contract.
Signing him down on an extension would allow us to potentially fetch a fee next summer if he was to become surplus to requirements, but then you have to ask yourself how much you would be able to command for a 34 year-old defender who has been known for defensive lapses even in his prime.
The situation needs to be played right, as the last thing we want is for Luiz’s workrate to drop going into the new campaign, but we also don’t want to be stuck with an unhappy Brazilian who has been known for his attitude previously.
Would you sign Luiz down to an extended deal? Will he lose his place to Mari and Saliba in the new term?