Arsenal are set to offer David Luiz a contract extension, with Mikel Arteta impressed by his leadership skills and subsequent influence on some of the younger players.
The Brazilian's current deal at the Emirates is due to expire at the end of the season and the club, specifically Arteta, want to ensure he is part of the squad for the 2021/22 campaign - that's according to the Independent's Miguel Delaney.
At 33 years old, there isn't much the defender hasn't experienced. Having won the Champions League and the Europa League as well as league titles in Portugal, England and France, he brings plenty of pedigree to the squad.
Throughout his career, his expressive and at times flamboyant style has led to him making some high profile mistakes that have seen him often ridiculed by fans. However, since joining the Gunners in August 2019, he has turned in some impressive displays, especially of late.
Discipline has been a problem since he arrived in north London. Luiz has been sent off three times in 63 appearances but while his form on the field has been up and down, based on the aforementioned report it's his influence as a character that has convinced Arteta he still has something to offer to the squad.
Numerous Arsenal players have spoken of Luiz's influence behind the scenes. Kieran Tierney, speaking to Open Goal last summer, told the panel 'he's a born winner' who is 'about motivational speeches'.
He also told a story about a game in which the Scotland international didn't feel he performed anywhere near his best and that Luiz had advised him to focus on his football while reassuring the 23-year-old he would 'take the heat'.
Luiz has often faced up to the media after making mistakes, evidencing that even during difficult times he is willing to stand up, take it on the chin and be held accountable.
Despite moving on Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and William Saliba on loan during last month's window, Arsenal are well stocked in the central defensive positions. With the aforementioned Frenchman likely to return next season as Arteta looks more towards the future, if Luiz is to stay he may be afforded less game time.However, given his experience and clear importance behind the scenes, the situation Arsenal find themselves in financially and the low-risk a one year deal would bring, you can understand why keeping the Brazilian could prove worthwhile if it isn't possible to break the bank and bring another top defender in.
Perhaps making the move to secure his services for next season at this stage would be slightly premature but if Luiz continues to replicate the overall form he's shown recently between now and the end of the campaign, signing him up for another year could prove a smart piece of business.
Source : 90min