In the pre-match press conference ahead of Arsenal’s Premier League tie against Everton, Mikel Arteta hailed the character of David Luiz.
Arteta was questioned by journalist Nick on how ‘important’ the 33-year-old’s ‘leadership’ and ‘character’ are at a moment like this for the team.
Luiz is in line to return to the starting lineup as Gabriel Magalhaes was sent off in the draw against Southampton, seeing a second yellow card for a reckless challenge on ex-Gunners star Theo Walcott.
Arteta stated that the struggling side need ‘leaders’ like Luiz at a moment like this, with the north London outfit losing six of their last nine Premier League matches.
The Spaniard added that Luiz’s ‘experience’ and what he’s ‘achieved’ in football are by far above anyone else’s in the Arsenal dressing room, adding that he’s someone that can ‘inspire’ players around him.
Mikel Arteta on the importance of David Luiz’s character and experience ahead of Arsenal vs Everton on Saturday… pic.twitter.com/xPOchJ7ol5
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“Yeah, that’s a key word the one you just used, because in this moment you want players to take ownership, to be accountable when they run onto that football pitch.”
“You need leaders to inspire others, because that gives security to the players around, obviously David’s experience and what he’s achieved in the game is above everybody else in that dressing room for sure.”
“His experience I think can be really helpful.”
Luiz has started in 10 of his 12 appearances across all competitions so far this season. The Brazilian star lost his place for the defeats to Spurs and Burnley after his concussion worry against Wolves.
Rob Holding has been the man that has partnered Gabriel as of late, it will be interesting to see how the Englishman fares with Luiz.
Luiz would be the most likely candidate to feature against the Toffees given the current pecking order, unless Shkodran Mustafi, Pablo Mari or Calum Chambers are called on.
Mari and Chambers recently returned from injury, the duo played the entire 90 minutes alongside Mustafi in last week’s Europa League tie against Dundalk.