David Luiz will reportedly leave Arsenal at the end of the season, per Sami Mokbel of Mail Online and David Ornstein of The Athletic. Luiz has told the club of his decision to leave the Emirates over the last 24 hours.
The Brazil defender has been an important component of the Arsenal defence since his arrival from Chelsea in August 2019 and has made 20 Premier League appearances this season. However, he is set to leave with the club in mid-table and likely to miss out on European football for the first time in 25 years.
David Luiz Has Told Arsenal He Will Be Leaving This Summer
Luiz Only Switched From Chelsea Two Years Ago
Luiz’s decision to move on from Arsenal will bring an end to a two-year association with the club. Prior to moving to north London, the 34-year-old played 248 games for Chelsea over two separate spells with the Blues.
The defender has been highly valued by Gunners manager Mikel Arteta since his arrival, and is renowned for his experience and leadership qualities; two significant assets he brings to a team in transition.
Over the course of his 73 appearances for Arsenal to date, Luiz helped the club win a record-extending 14th FA Cup trophy last season, and also played in this season’s Community Shield win over Liverpool.
It is thought that Arsenal will officially announce Luiz’s departure when his contract ends in July.
Arsenal Were Keen to Keep Luiz On
With the player’s contract expiring in less than three months, Luiz held all the cards when it came to deciding his immediate future. This means his club could do nothing to convince him to stay, despite their desire to retain his services for at least another year.
Mikel Arteta will need to put considerable faith in the club’s young players – as well as carry out a squad rebuild in relation to more senior members of his team – if he is to orchestrate a revival at the Emirates in the next season and beyond.
Having a figure as respected and experienced as Luiz on the pitch would have made that task an easier one for the manager to carry out, but the Spaniard must now look to sign a replacement centre-half.