David Luiz to leave Arsenal at the end of the season

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David Luiz of Arsenal. - Kevin Quigley/NMC 
David Luiz of Arsenal. - Kevin Quigley/NMC

David Luiz will leave Arsenal at the end of the season after two years at the Emirates Stadium.

The 34-year-old held talks on Friday where he was told the club was looking to the future and his current deal would not be renewed. Luiz had been considering the free-agent market in the summer and can sign a pre-contract with another team.

Mikel Arteta has started the Brazilian once in the last 11 games after a hamstring injury ended a long run in the team. He is currently sidelined and it will remain to be seen if he plays against Crystal Palace or Brighton in Arsenal’s final two games of the season, which would be his last appearances for the club.

Luiz won the FA Cup last season, starting at Wembley against Chelsea in the 2-1 triumph, at the end of a season where he joined from Chelsea in an £8million deal. But he was also guilty of high-profile errors and three red cards during his two campaigns.

With a Champions League winners’ medal from his time at Chelsea and title wins at Paris Saint-Germain, Luiz was brought to the club to bring a winning mentality to the squad firstly under Unai Emery.

Despite being at the heart of the defence for their Cup win last August, they have regressed in the Premier League and risk not having European football next season for the first time since 1995/95.

Luiz was once famously described by Gary Neville as being controlled by a “10-year-old on a PlayStation” but his risk-taking and long passes are still expected to see clubs look at whether he can bolster their squad next season.

Arsenal will also look for a replacement in a squad that has underperformed this season. Rob Holding has been awarded a new contract, while Gabriel Magalhães has shown potential. French centre-back William Saliba will return from his loan at Nice but the club will still be in the market for a central defender.

They have an interest in Joachim Andersen following his loan at Fulham from Lyon, but rivals Tottenham Hotspur are ahead of them in the running for the Denmark international.

Arteta has overseen experienced players such as Mesut Ozil and now Luiz leaving the club, with a change of direction expected in transfers towards younger players. Their pulling power in the transfer market will also be affected by European football being on the table.

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