David Luiz to be rewarded with Arsenal contract extension
David Luiz has become a mainstay and a key player at the back for Arsenal this season and will be rewarded with a one-year contract extension, according to the Independent.
The 33-year-old returned from suspension after being controversially red carded against Wolves at the beginning of February, helping the Gunners to a 4-2 win and ending a two-game skid.
Luiz has been a polarising player just about all of his career. A Champions League winner with Chelsea, he became the most expensive defender in world football at the time when he moved to PSG in 2014.
The Brazilian would return to Stamford Bridge just two years later to win the Premier League title under Antonio Conte before joining London rivals Arsenal ahead of last season.
Capped 56 times by the Selecao, Luiz has always played with a certain reckless abandon and his brilliant highs have often been matched by some embarrassing lows.
This season, though, Luiz appears to have found a bit of consistency. So far this campaign, he has been deemed to have only made one error leading to a chance, and none directly leading to a goal for the opposition.
With Mikel Arteta emphasising playing out of the back at Arsenal, Luiz has seen an increase in touches and passes per 90 minutes during this season compared to last, while also improving defensively in his ratio of completed ground and aerial duels.
His strength has always been in helping his team get on the front foot and that has been the same in this season – he has created one big chance and averages 1.1 touches inside the opposition box P90.
David Luiz’s 2020/21 season in numbers
|Aerial duels won P90||1.4|
Luiz is also in the top 10 among Premier League centre-backs to have played 500 minutes in dribbles completed and is third in shots P90, averaging one attempt each game.
On the flip side though, none of his shots have actually hit the target all season, perhaps displaying some of Luiz’s more erratic side.
Still, Arteta has thought long and hard about offering Luiz a new deal and his form, coinciding with a good run for the Gunners, has seemingly earned him another year in the English top flight.
A one-year contract would mean he will be 35 by the time it expires in the summer of 2022, and he will be hoping to bow out having helped Arsenal back into the Champions League for the first time in the post-Arsene Wenger era.