I don’t think any Arsenal fan will disagree that the club, as it stands right now, is a joke and has been for a number of years. Two fifth place and a sixth-place finish over the last three years is not good enough for a former giant of the Premier League, and it’s about to get even worse this season as they languish barely inside the top ten. No one is judging Mikel Arteta on half a season though, especially considering the mess he was left with after Unai Emery’s departure, but they will judge the decisions he makes as the rebuild continues. For instance, re-signing David Luiz.
On Wednesday, a week after his horror show against Manchester City, Luiz signed on to stay for another year with his contract running out at the end of the extended season and you really have to ask why? Technical Director Edu said in the official club statement that “David is a really important player for us. He has played most of our matches this season and has been important for the team. His passing, his communication with the team on and off the pitch. He helps everyone.” But is he the future? Is that the best they could get? If the answer to either of those questions is yes then Arsenal and Arteta are in bigger trouble than even I originally thought.
But it wasn’t just the Luiz signing. In the same press release, they announced long term contracts for Pablo Marí Villar and Cédric Ricardo Alves Soares. Edu spoke on both players during the release, starting with Pablo Marí Villar “Since Mikel arrived here he was asking for a central defender who was left-footed. We were really pleased with Pablo – his behavior, the way he is training, his mentality, and his quality. Unfortunately, he has that injury but of course, we are really happy to keep him for the future.”
And here I was thinking any purchase would need to be better than the current crop when apparently the only requisition was that you are left-footed. I have a 10-year-old leftie if interested Mikel, and he won’t even cost you that much.
Second was Cedric who moved from Premier League rivals Southampton, but apparently only as a back up to Héctor Bellerín with Edu saying:
“Cedric is also going to be an important player. He has been unlucky with the injuries but he is close to being ready and gives us more strength in the right-back position.”
The fact these were seen as more pressing than getting Saka and Aubameyang locked into longer contracts baffles me. Pablo Mari’s highest level has been playing in Brazil while Soares was let go by Southampton. Is this Arsenal’s new level? For the sake of their fans, I hope not.