Mikel Arteta only had praise for David Luiz and what he brings to the team on Friday, despite reports of a fall-out between the two.
With Gabriel Magalhaes suspended, and Pablo Mari starting alongside Calum Chambers and William Saliba on Friday, David Luiz is very likely to take up the left centre-back role for Arsenal against Everton on Saturday.
The timing is certainly interesting, just a few days after one report claimed Luiz and Arteta weren’t on speaking terms anymore. However, Luiz’s camp strongly denied that story, and the Arsenal manager only had nice things to say in his press conference.
“In this moment, you want players to take ownership, to be accountable when they go on the pitch and you need leaders to inspire others,” Arteta said.
“That gives security to the players. Obviously, David’s experience and what he’s achieved in the game is above everybody else in that dressing room, for sure. His experience can be really helpful.”
Whether the initial reports were true or not, you’d hope Luiz will use the situation as motivation to put in a good performance this weekend. He’ll need one, given he’s up against one of the league’s form strikers in Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
As experienced as Luiz is, he’s still prone to those moments of madness, which Arsenal desperately cannot afford after three red cards in their last five games. They just need a win.