Arsenal: David Luiz requires firm, but unnecessary, commitment

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 18: David Luiz of Chelsea warms up during the UEFA Champions League group C match between Chelsea FC and AS Roma at Stamford Bridge on October 18, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 18: David Luiz of Chelsea warms up during the UEFA Champions League group C match between Chelsea FC and AS Roma at Stamford Bridge on October 18, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images) /
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Arsenal are supposedly eyeing up a potential move for David Luiz, but given the implications of the move, it seems more like a step backwards.

Arsenal’s January transfer window is getting pretty intense as the end of the month draws near. As of writing, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has supposedly agreed to a deal, could potentially be in London and is likely to be announced in the coming hours.

On the other side of things, the future of Olivier Giroud is still unclear. But one potential outcome that is being tossed around, which is mortifying, is sending him to Chelsea in exchange for David Luiz or straight cash.

Luiz has fallen out of Antonio Conte’s plans and, as Diego Costa can attest to, once you’re out, you’re pretty much helpless to get back in. Luiz has seen younger players – Rudiger, Christensen – replace him and do a pretty good job at it.

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Ever the recycler, that brings Arsene Wenger into the picture. Despite Wenger already ruling out a move for Luiz, you always have to consider that Le Prof is just throwing people off the scent, which he is so keen on doing lately.

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I have been strictly opposed to this deal for some time, and I feel totally justified in being so, but let’s entertain for a second what would happen if this move were to go through, and I’ll even try to find some optimism in it.

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Luiz has his flaws as a defender, but he is a superb ball-playing centerback. He’s of the same ilk as Shkodran Mustafi and Calum Chambers. I’d even throw in Laurent Koscielny. They are all capable of composedly pushing the ball up the pitch.

Luiz has been one of the best of such types for about half a decade now, and he has found tremendous success in that role.

So what would Arsenal gain? This is where I draw the line. I don’t see what they would gain that we don’t already have. Plus, Luiz can absolutely not be trusted in a four-back set where he will have to sit deep and not allow himself to get adventurous. That defeats the whole purpose of even having the guy.

To land Luiz would be to commit to a three-at-the-back system for as long as he would be here. He would not be making this switch to jump into the 3-4-3 if it is utilized. He would be coming over if it is the new, go-to system. Which, given the new reliance on the back four, isn’t looking like the case at all.

Luiz would essentially be brought in to do what Mohamed Elneny has been doing when asked to drop back into the back three as the central pivot of the defense. Only Luiz has more experience doing it.

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I don’t see the use in that. Not when Calum Chambers is the same kind of defender, as is Mustafi. It requires too much of a commitment to a certain style of play because of his frailties in any other system.