Paul Merson can ‘understand’ Arsenal’s decision to hand David Luiz a new one-year deal as the defender may be able to lend some of his experience to the younger players at the club.
The Brazilian was at fault for both goals and also got himself sent off in the Gunners’ 3-0 defeat away at Manchester City last week.
However, despite his multiple mistakes over the course of the season, Mikel Arteta deemed the centre-back worthy of a new contract to keep him at the Emirates until 2021.
The 33-year-old has won league titles in France, England and Portugal, the Champions League, and also earned 57 caps for his country.
And Arsenal legend Merson believes that Luiz has the capability to be a top performer when he’s on song and can also offer some vital words of wisdom to his younger team-mates.
‘On his day, he is a proper player and there’s no grey areas, he’s black or white,’ Merson told Sky Sports.
‘You’ve seen it at Chelsea where he’s absolutely outstanding and we’ve seen him at Arsenal where he’s been atrocious. But for me, on his day, I think he’s top draw.
‘If he can help the centre-halves coming through and the youngsters there with his experience, because he’s won everything in the game, I don’t think it’s a bad year.
‘I hear people saying, ‘Oh get rid of him, he makes mistakes’, of course he makes mistakes, but he might be able to help other players while he’s there.
‘The one thing I like about him is that he never goes hiding, he always keeps getting on the ball, he’s always in the thick of it and sometimes, that’s probably why he makes too many mistakes. But I can understand where Mikel Arteta is coming from.’
The Gunners also wrapped up deals to keep Pablo Mari, Cedric Soares and Dani Ceballos beyond the summer.
Defenders Mari and Cedric were tied down to long-term deals, while Ceballos’ season-long loan move from Real Madrid has been extended until the end of the current campaign.
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