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‘It’s a gamble’ – Arsenal legend raises concern over key summer signing

Former Arsenal star Martin Keown has conceded that he feels as though his old club has taken a gamble on signing David Luiz from Chelsea.

The Gunners needed to address their defensive flaws this summer, as after conceding 51 goals in 38 Premier League games last season, it was a glaring weakness in the side.

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Having seen Laurent Koscielny move on, coupled with William Saliba arriving but being shipped out back on loan to Saint Etienne, there was a void that needed to be filled, and Arsenal boss Unai Emery seemingly opted on David Luiz to be the solution with BBC Sport noting that he arrived in an £8m deal.

Time will tell whether or not that was a sensible idea as ultimately the 32-year-old does bring experience and a winning mentality to the club, but he has also shown serious vulnerabilities in his defensive work over the years and so Arsenal surely needed a more solid and reliable presence in that spot.

That’s where Keown’s concerns are, as along with question marks over Luiz’s influence in the Chelsea dressing room coupled with the question marks over his defending, the Arsenal legend isn’t seemingly convinced that he is the fix that the club needed.

“I felt that we’d be taking a problem from Chelsea,” he told talkSPORT. “Frank Lampard was in that dressing room wasn’t he, and you could say it was a little bit toxic. Sarri last year said they were difficult to motivate, and it looks like Lampard has weeded out David Luiz.

“Arsenal are then taking a player with a little bit of baggage. I do feel Arsenal play it out from the back and that will suit David Luiz, that will be a good plus, but he’s not a top defender.

“He’s not an out-and-out defender, work is going to have to be done with him. And what sort of person is he? Is he a leader and is he the right influence in the dressing room?

“He’s good value with the money they paid for him and Arsenal were in a position where they had to get defenders in, but it’s a gamble.”

Time will tell how the move works out for all concerned, but Arsenal certainly needed to bring in a defender, and given that they’ve now got one experienced in the Premier League and at the top level in Europe, they’ll hope Luiz can offer more solidity and steeliness at the back perhaps next to the likes of Sokratis or Rob Holding.

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