Arsenal appears to lurch from one poor financial decision to another and the recent revelations made by the Athletic via Metro that the last-minute transfer of David Luiz from Chelsea could cost the club over £20m for a single season has been embarrassing, to say the least.
Arsenal seems to be constantly counting the pennies and although they spent £130m last season, much of that outlay was in structured installments/payments over time.
It’s now thought that Arsenal have offered to extend the Brazilian defender’s deal, rather than be seen to have wasted a large sum of cash on another player who has been painfully inconsistent since his move. David Luiz had hoped to end up at Benfica and had gone on record to almost engineer a move to his former club.
There was even talk of him making contact with Benfica club president Luis Filipe Vieira to explore the possibility, but it’s now thought that David Luiz would have to drop his wage demands substantially to make a transfer to Benfica happen after the football world fell apart due to Covid-19.
The reality is that Luiz has no intention of dropping to an affordable level even at the age of 34, so the Benfica deal is virtually dead now as a result. As it stands, the player will extend his contract for up to two seasons but on a reduced wage. Just how much is anyone’s guess, but it’s said that it’s only a formality if Luiz agrees.
High profile clubs have had to ruthlessly examine their finances for the next 18 months including some of the leading lights of the game. PSG, Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Bayern Munich are all looking to trim the fat off their wage bills and their transfer plans will only go ahead if sales are guaranteed. It’s no secret that those clubs are guilty of lavish overspending in recent years, but the bubble has now burst and the future is uncertain.
Arsenal’s last-minute purchase of David Luiz has been something of an expensive and failed experiment. Purchased on the premise that he would add experience and savvy to a leaky defence, Luiz hasn’t had the impact that Arsenal had hoped and they have continued to ship sloppy goals from basic errors.
Luiz has looked better under Mikel Arteta but it’s thought that he is on borrowed time up against the likely combination of Pablo Mari and William Saliba at the heart of defence next season. There are a host of names from Arsenal’s academy also knocking on the first team door including Zech Medley, who has trained with the first team this week.
Luiz may get the extension he desires but he may also find his opportunities fewer unless Arsenal pushes him higher up the pitch. The Brazilian has always enjoyed the attacking aspects of his game but his defensive duties suffer as a result of his forays up the pitch.
Arsenal need to look as if they know what they are doing (it’s not working) and having continuously pleaded poverty, they are having to cover their tracks with an offer that they perhaps may never have made under different circumstances. How dumb is that!
Thinking with my devious hat on, the only saving grace would be if Arsenal were doing this to appease super agent Kia Joorabchian so that they could secure another player on his books.
That’s how this club is now run, forget all that association with Arsenal being ‘class’, that died the day they resisted offering Dennis Bergkamp his final contract and it was even more noticeable when they pushed Santo Cazorla out of a side exit because of injury.