EPL

Arteta lauds David Luiz's influence at Arsenal

By Sports Desk July 04, 2020

Under-fire Arsenal defender David Luiz has a vital role to play at the club, according to head coach Mikel Arteta.

The Brazil international has come in for criticism throughout his time with the Gunners and his detractors were given more ammunition following an error-strewn outing against Manchester City last month.

Despite that Etihad Stadium horror show, in which he was at fault for the opener, gave away a penalty and was sent off, David Luiz recently earned a new one-year contract.

Amid the mirth from some quarters, Arteta launched a staunch defence of his man, though he did concede that work needed to be done to "stop his weaknesses".

"His attitude and the way he has behaved with everybody at the club, not just in easy moments but in difficult moments, tells me everything about the person," Arteta told Sky Sports.

"He knows the role he has here. You can ask any player in the team how he is with his team-mates, what he brings to the table, and how willing he is to do well at this football club.

"He made a really difficult decision to leave Chelsea with two years left on his contract.

"It was a complicated decision to change clubs in London like that, but he felt it was the right move and that is the type of character he is.

"I will keep pushing him, keep trying to make him better and stop his weaknesses so that all the positive things he has can flourish."

Arteta's support follows some kind words from Bukayo Saka, who praised team-mate David Luiz's influence in his own development after also penning fresh terms.

That kind of mentorship is one of the reasons Arteta thinks so highly of David Luiz.

"I'm sure about how he [David Luiz] is going to treat him [Saka], how he is going to look after him, how he is going to guide him," said Arteta.

"The young players need stable players around them with experience, who have lots of leadership. The way David supports them is very important to us."

Related items

  • De Ligt facing three months out after Juventus defender undergoes shoulder surgery De Ligt facing three months out after Juventus defender undergoes shoulder surgery

    Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt is facing three months out after undergoing shoulder surgery.

    The Netherlands centre-back has had persistent problems with his right shoulder after suffering a dislocation last year.

    Juve confirmed on Wednesday that the 21-year-old had stabilisation surgery in Rome and the operation was "a complete success".

    He is not likely to be fully fit to return until November.

    There is not yet an official start date for the 2020-21 Serie A season but the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has previously stated it hopes the campaign can begin on September 1.

    De Ligt made 39 appearances in all competitions in his first season for Juve since joining from Ajax for an initial €75million fee last year.

    Juve won the Scudetto for the ninth time in a row but were beaten by Napoli on penalties in the Coppa Italia final and were knocked out of the Champions League on away goals at the last-16 stage by Lyon.

    Head coach Maurizio Sarri was sacked the day after that European exit and replaced by Under-23s boss and former midfielder Andrea Pirlo.

  • Former Juventus and Arsenal defender Lichtsteiner retires from football Former Juventus and Arsenal defender Lichtsteiner retires from football

    Former Juventus and Arsenal defender Stephan Lichtsteiner has retired from football.

    The 36-year-old had planned to play for Switzerland at the Euro 2020 finals before calling time on his career, but with the coronavirus pandemic forcing the tournament to be postponed to 2021, he has chosen not to continue playing for another year.

    Lichtsteiner had spent the 2019-20 season with Augsburg, making 20 appearances in the Bundesliga as Heiko Herrlich's side finished 15th.

    "The plan would have been to retire after the European Championship in 2020," Lichtsteiner, who was Switzerland captain, said in an interview published by the Swiss Football Association.

    "After UEFA's decision to postpone the European Championship to 2021, it became clear to me that the time had come and I didn't want to add another year.

    "The length of a footballer's career is limited. I was allowed to play at a high level until I was 36. Now, it's time to take a new path. It was a cool time that I really enjoyed."

    Lichtsteiner earned 108 senior caps for Switzerland and competed at five major tournaments: Euro 2008, co-hosted by Switzerland and Austria, the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, and Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup, at which he was captain under Vladimir Petkovic.

    "Every tournament was an incredible event," he said. "I always felt a tingling feeling. It was a shame we narrowly missed out on the quarter-finals in the last three tournaments, which were of a high level.

    "If you're able to play more than 100 international matches, that makes you proud. Every single game was an honour. And each one felt like it was the first, in terms of nervousness!"

    Lichtsteiner's most successful spell came in his seven years with Juventus, where he won seven Serie A titles in a row, lifted the Coppa Italia four times and twice reached the Champions League final.

    "We were able to build a generation of winners and won 14 trophies in seven years. That was definitely the most formative and successful phase of my career. The downside were those two lost Champions League finals," he said.

    Lichtsteiner, who spent 2018-19 with Arsenal, is now planning for a career in coaching but is also considering a future "in the economic sector".

    "I am open and currently being inspired by various things," he said.

  • Valencia captain Parejo joins rivals Villarreal Valencia captain Parejo joins rivals Villarreal

    Dani Parejo has joined Villarreal on a four-year contract, leaving rivals Valencia where he was captain.

    The transfer became the second between the two clubs to go through on Wednesday, with Parejo following Francis Coquelin to El Madrigal - reportedly for a cut-price combined fee of just €13million.

    Valencia have already sold Ferran Torres to Manchester City in recent weeks and pressure appears to be building on owner Peter Lim.

    Club great Santiago Canizares questioned "the sale of your two best midfielders", with new head coach Javi Gracia yet to take charge of a competitive fixture.

    Parejo played 383 times for Valencia since signing from Getafe in 2011 and had spoken of wanting to retire at the club despite reports of his looming departure.

    However, Torres, following his move to City, said Parejo "wasn't a good captain with me".

    "He's a great player but I never had a relationship with him," winger Torres said of the 31-year-old.

    Valencia released a short statement as Parejo's departure was confirmed, thanking the player for "all his effort and commitment", echoing the response to Coquelin's move.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.