Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson is backing David Luiz to provide the leadership required to ensure the Gunners secure a Champions League place this season.
The TV pundit doesn’t necessarily believe that the Brazilian will improve the team’s defence but he thinks his quality on the ball, as well as his experience, will give the club the edge over Chelsea and Manchester United in the top four battle:
“If Arsenal find some consistency, it’s theirs to take. I’d be shocked if Luiz majorly improves their defending. But he will make them entertaining. He will make mistakes. But he also has a sweet diagonal ball in him, and he can pick a pass when he wants to….”
“It’s ironic that Arsenal have looked all over Europe for a centre back and ended up signing one right on their doorstep. But it ticks the boxes in some ways. Luiz has plenty of experience, he’s a winner with a big personality, a leader. Arsenal don’t have those kinds of characters.”
Considering that Arsenal were only one point off fourth place last campaign, despite conceding 51 goals, shows that the potential is there for this side to finish higher in the table.
With the club having strengthened their squad with the additions of Nicolas Pepe and Kieran Tierney, it does suggest that Unai Emery’s side have the capability to leapfrog clubs like Chelsea.
The Blues’ transfer ban means they haven’t been able to improve their squad from last season and will have to rely on some untested youngsters.