The true cost of Arsenal signing shaky centre-half David Luiz for just one season has been revealed, much to the chagrin of one former Gunner.
Defensive issues have plagued the Gunners for many a year, which made it all the more surprising when they splashed out £8m for Chelsea centre-back David Luiz last summer.
Despite accruing 57 caps for his native Brazil, Luiz has always been prone to a defensive lapse during his time in England, with Arsenal’s decision to shop on the Chelsea scrapheap seen as a curious move by many at the time.
The Gunners once again struggled at the back this campaign, with their mark of 36 league goals conceded good enough for just the league’s eighth best defensive record at the time of football’s hiatus.
Luiz has been a regular at the heart of Unai Emery and Mikel Arteta’s backlines, but after just one season at The Emirates, appears destined for a swift departure.
The figure includes the £8m transfer fee paid, but also factors in the Brazilian’s £10m he earned in wages and a sobering £6m spent in agent’s fees.
Understandably, the reaction to this news has been mixed, with former gunner Kevin Campbell retweeting a tweet that took a particularly dim view of the revelation.
Until the people running our club are sacked Arsenal will never do well to justify this money on a average defender begs belief the money wasted by incompetence is unbelievable & a disgrace by the people in charge of our once great club 😡😡😡 https://t.co/dewVokWfpY
— Lee Judges (@leemarkjudges) May 31, 2020
Club stalwart Martin Keown had previously suggested the club must be ruthless in their decision to cut ties with Luiz, and gave a scathing review of his talents as a defender.
“Is he a proper defender? Can he play in a back four? His best defending came when he was in a back three at Chelsea when they won the Premier League [in 2016-17].
“It’s the most crucial area which he [Mikel Arteta] has to get right.
“[Rob] Holding’s been injured, it’s hard to judge him, he probably deserves another opportunity. I think that Sokratis could be a useful defender but I can understand the uncertainty of giving David Luiz a new deal.
“Do they now start to be harsh and make those key decisions? If David Luiz isn’t the answer, then he has to go now.
Meanwhile, Gunners legend Dennis Bergkamp has divulged the one key reason why he believes Arsenal declined so rapidly under Arsene Wenger.
The Frenchman’s first decade at the club brought about 11 major honours, but his next 12 years yielded just six.