Arsenal News: David Luiz not the answer to the Gunners' prayers, claims Martin Keown
What's the story?
Former Arsenal defender and pundit, Martin Keown, is not too keen on David Luiz's impending move from Chelsea to the Emirates, stating that the Brazilian centre-back is not the answer to the Gunners' current defensive crisis.
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Arsenal are believed to be closing in on a deal worth around £8 million for Luiz as they seek to re-build their back-line following the recent departure of former captain Laurent Koscielny.
Luiz, 32, joined Chelsea from Benfica back in 2011 before leaving for Paris three years later. He made his return to Stamford Bridge in 2016 and went on to win the Premier League title in his first season back.
Under Maurizio Sarri, the Brazil international featured in the squad quite regularly but the appointment of Frank Lampard as manager has brought about some change. Lampard has offered him no guarantees regarding a starting berth in the side, and as a result, Luiz is looking for a move away from the club.
The heart of the matter
Keown believes the signing of Luiz is an unnecessary risk taken by Arsenal and claims that while the defender has an expansive passing range, the absence of a defensive midfielder like N'Golo Kante will leave him vulnerable at the back.
In his column for the Daily Mail, the former Gunners defender wrote: "Yes, Arsenal want a centre back, but is Luiz the answer to their prayers? I don’t think so."
"The way the 32-year-old plays, he would be exposed in that Arsenal defence. He would not get the same protection that he enjoys at Chelsea, where N’Golo Kante patrols in front of the backline."
"In possession, Luiz is a wonderful passer, but he makes mistakes when playing as part of a back four. He has a tendency to lose his marker and is one of those all-or-nothing players — if he doesn’t win the ball in a challenge, then congratulations because you’re in."
Keown also went on to compare Luiz's situation at Chelsea to that of Koscielny's at Arsenal. Luiz missed training on Wednesday amid rumours of his exit and Keown voiced his concerns over whether Arsenal will be able to deal with such a personality in the dressing room.
"Do Arsenal really want to be on the receiving end of someone willing to kick up a similar fuss now? That’s why I question whether he (Luiz) would be suitable for Emery."
A deal for Luiz is expected to be completed shortly. Meanwhile, Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney is also believed to be on his way to the Emirates, which means Arsenal might see an entirely new defensive line-up during their Premier League opener against Newcastle United on Sunday.