Steve Nicol suggests midfield role for David Luiz after Arsenal defender signs new one-year deal

Arsenal FC v Olympiacos FC - UEFA Europa League Round of 32: Second Leg
Luiz will remain at the Emirates for another year (Picture: Getty Images)

 

Former Liverpool defender Steve Nicol has suggested that Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta might be able to get the best out of David Luiz by playing him as a midfielder.

The Brazilian was handed a new one-year deal to keep him at the Emirates until the summer of 2021.

Luiz has mostly enjoyed success under Arteta, but as has been the case throughout his entire career, he has never been far away from a costly mistake.

This once again proved to be the case in the Gunners’ 3-0 defeat to Manchester City last week, with the centre-back at fault for both goals as well as getting himself sent off.

However, the 33-year-old has previously been deployed in a defensive midfield position at Chelsea under Jose Mourinho, and Nicol believes moving him further forward may reduce the chances of his errors leading directly to goals.

‘I think Arteta’s looking around the squad and figuring, ‘If I let this guy go I’ve got even less than nothing’,’ Nicol told ESPN FC.

‘Arteta’s got an opportunity here to change David Luiz’s career, because David Luiz’s career as a centre-back in my opinion is and should be over.

Arsenal FC defender Pablo Mari
The Gunners also tied down Pablo Mari to a long-term deal (Picture: Getty Images)

 

‘He’s got to the stage now that whatever team he plays for if he’s your centre-back, the whole crowd are holding their breath every time he goes to make a challenge or interception.

‘That means you have to change and the fact is, he’s a good football player, this guy can pass the ball, no question.

‘So, get him a step up, get him in the middle of the park. They’ve got nothing in the middle of the park, [Granit] Xhaka, [Dani] Ceballos, [Matteo] Guendouzi, [Lucas] Torreira’s never fit.

‘Why don’t you push this guy into the middle and at least you’ll get some football out of him.

‘And when he makes mistakes in the middle of the park, there’ll be a back line to try and make up for it.’

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