Arsenal Vs Leicester City: 5 key players to watch – Another must-win

Arsenal, Alexandre Lacazette (Photo by MIKE EGERTON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal, Alexandre Lacazette (Photo by MIKE EGERTON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Arsenal, David Luiz
Arsenal, David Luiz (Photo by Sam Bagnall – AMA/Getty Images) /

3. David Luiz

Speaking of the back three and David Luiz in particular, the Brazilian has quietly returned to excellent form following his disastrous Manchester City performance.

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Luiz signed a year-long contract extension after the 25-minute debacle at the Etihad. It was a largely criticised decision, especially given the age profile that Arsenal should be searching for as Arteta looks to rebuild the team and the high-end wages that the defender will demand. However, look beyond just one poor performance and there is reason to like Luiz’s extension.

He is far from the perfect defender, of course, and he will make silly mistakes, which could certainly come against a livewire centre-forward like Vardy, but he is critical to Arteta’s system. His play in possession is especially important. He is often the main instigator in progressing play from deep and breaking lines with piercing distribution. It was his long pass to Kieran Tierney that set up Granit Xhaka’s goal against Norwich City last week.

Luiz has also been impressive defensively since Arteta arrived. His early-season form was poor and his performance against City was troublesome, but on the whole, he has looked focused, attentive, and leads the backline well. He also looks much more comfortable in a back three. Luiz, then, will continue to anchor Arsenal’s defence. And thus far, it has been a successful venture.