Arsenal need to ‘ship out half the team’, including ‘problematic’ David Luiz, says David Bentley

Arsenal defender David Luiz
Luiz signed a new one-year deal to remain at Arsenal (Picture: Getty Images)

 

David Bentley has urged Arsenal to offload half of their team, including David Luiz and Mesut Ozil, in order to rebuild the squad.

The Gunners endured a dismal start after the three-month break with consecutive losses to Manchester City and Brighton.

Mikel Arteta’s side clawed back some dignity with a victory over Southampton in the Premier League and also sealed their progress to the semi-finals of the FA Cup with a 2-1 win over Sheffield United on Sunday.

The north London club are facing a restricted summer of spending due to the financial impact of the coronavirus crisis and may need to sell players to raise funds for new signings.

And former Arsenal and Tottenham winger Bentley believes Ozil and Luiz are one of a number of squad members that need to be shipped out.

‘Mesut Ozil and David Luiz are on large money and if Arsenal can move these players on then Arteta will be able to spend money on transfers,’ Bentley told 888Sport.

Former Arsenal winger David Bentley
Bentley rose through the Arsenal academy (Picture: Getty Images)

 

‘I don’t know what the thinking is at boardroom level because Arsenal need to ship out half the team and get a good core in. That’s difficult but can be done.

‘The major problem is that we don’t know if they’re singing from the same hymn sheet at boardroom level.’

Last week, Arsenal confirmed David Luiz had been handed a new one-year deal to keep the defender at the Emirates until next summer, and Bentley admitted he was perplexed over the decision.

‘I was surprised at the new contract,’ he added.

‘I don’t know if it’s because of a lack of preparation in getting players in but the recruitment with the back four is a problem. It always has been.

‘David Luiz is problematic. He’s a great technical player but if you want to bring the youth through and create a winning mentality is he really the type to help with that?

‘You look at Liverpool – and Manchester United are trying to do it too – and they build a solid foundation that allows the players to express themselves.

‘If you have solid back-four and solid spine of the team it’s easier for the young players to step into that. Instead, Arsenal leak goals and look vulnerable.’

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