‘Powerful’: Mikel Arteta gives Arsenal verdict on David Luiz

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says David Luiz is a powerful influence in the Gunners dressing room

Mikel Arteta (Photo: Arsenal Media / Screengrab)
Mikel Arteta (Photo: Arsenal Media / Screengrab)

Mikel Arteta says David Luiz is a “powerful” leader within the Arsenal dressing room.

The Brazil international has enjoyed a return to the Arsenal team since Arteta’s appointment as Unai Emery’s permanent replacement at the Emirates Stadium.

Luiz has started all of Arsenal’s games under Arteta so far, helping the Spanish head coach to record his first Premier League win in a 2-0 victory over Manchester United on New Year’s Day.

The Brazilian defender has been one of the scapegoats for the north London side’s unpredictable and largely disappointing form in the Premier League this season.

Luiz arrived at Arsenal in an £8m deal from their bitter rivals Chelsea FC in the summer under Emery’s management.

Current Arsenal boss Arteta believes Luiz has an important role to play in the Gunners team for the remainder of the season due to his experience and leadership.

“Yes, that’s what I wanted to demand of him,” Arteta told a news conference on Friday before the 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace. “He is a player that has won more trophies than anybody else in that dressing room.

“We have to use that in a very powerful way. I wanted him to step up, I wanted him to put all his qualities – his personality and his experience – towards the team and he made a big step forward.

“I am very, very pleased with him.”

Luiz has won one Premier League title, two FA Cup crowns, the Champions League and the Europa League during his two stints in English football.

Arsenal were 1-0 winners against Championship leaders Leeds United in the FA Cup third round at The Emirates last Monday before their 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

The Gunners haven’t finished in the Premier League’s top four in the last three seasons and haven’t won the title since 2004.

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