Emmanuel Petit says Arsenal’s decision to hand David Luiz a contract extension is a “joke” and a reflection of the club’s failing transfer strategy.
Luiz, who signed a one-year deal from Chelsea in 2018, agreed to sign for another year on Wednesday.
However, Arsenal made the call at the final hour after negotiations were heavily disrupted due to the Gunners’ fears about the financial impact of the pandemic.
What’s more, Arsenal became more concerned when Pablo Mari suffered a “significant” issue.
Nevertheless, Arsenal legend Petit says Arsenal’s lack of options does not justify extending Luiz’s contract.
“David Luiz hasn’t been a proper footballer for about three years,” the pundit told Paddy Power.
“But I’m not surprised that he has been given a new contract at Arsenal, because I’ve been very disappointed in relation to the club’s activity in the transfer market.
“I’ve been particularly upset in relation to the defenders. We all know one of Arsenal’s major weaknesses is their defence and nothing has changed. This makes me miss Arsene Wenger.
“If I was David Luiz, of course I would sign a new deal and I would also say a prayer of thanks to the Arsenal directors every time I wake up.”
Luiz endured a nightmare resumption to his Premier League campaign, receiving a red card against Manchester City.
The Brazilian was at fault earlier in the match for Raheem Sterling’s opener and picked up a two-match ban.
Petit added: “Even when he last won the Premier League with Chelsea, he’s not the same player any more. This guy has lost something.
“To be honest, it’s a joke. Find some proper defenders. Are you telling me there are no young talented defenders on the market? I just don’t get it.”
LUIZ BAN THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG FOR ARSENAL
Arsenal followed up the 3-0 defeat to City with a 2-1 loss to Brighton, who scored a last-minute winner last Saturday.
The result means the Gunners‘ hopes of qualifying for Europe next season are all but over.
More bad news followed, with Gabriel Martinelli suffering a knee injury in training – Mikel Arteta confirmed it will keep the striker out for “months”.
Arsenal face Southampton on Thursday before an FA Cup tie with Sheffield United on Sunday.