David Luiz will leave Arsenal at the end of the season, with both parties agreeing on the departure in a meeting on Friday.
The Daily Mail were the first to report the exclusive news on Friday that David Luiz would be leaving Arsenal at the end of the season.
Luiz reportedly informed the club of his decision in a meeting on Friday, with an announcement expected at the end of his current deal.
David Ornstein then corroborated the story for The Athletic, confirming that Luiz will leave this summer. Arsenal hadn’t offered him an extension, but the 34-year-old had decided to go even if they did.
According to Ornstein, Arsenal agreed with Luiz’s decision when he informed them of it in Friday’s meeting.
Luiz is currently absent with injury, and faces a real race against time to make one or two final appearances for the club next week. So far, he’s played 73 times for the Gunners, scoring four goals.
The crowning moment of Luiz’s Arsenal spell will obviously be the FA Cup triumph, as he started all but one of the games in the 2020 winning run, including playing 88 minutes of the final.
But personally, I’ll remember his time at the club as much for his positive influence on the younger players. He always seemed to deal with them well, and many of them have cited him as a role model in the squad.
Of course, we can’t ignore the three red cards and far too many penalties that the centre-back conceded. It’s undeniable that Arsenal would have had a significantly more successful two years if Luiz had avoided those errors and stayed fit throughout.
But that’s not just a criticism, it’s also recognition of what the defender brought to Arsenal when he was available and on his game. There’s no doubt his latest couple of injuries really hurt Mikel Arteta’s side.
Luiz’s departure will likely bring William Saliba and Konstantinos Mavropanos’ futures into sharper focus. Saliba in particular has the right profile to take over Luiz’s role, given his quality on the ball. The exit could also perhaps push Arsenal into the transfer market.