David Luiz has completed his surprise transfer from Chelsea to Arsenal, both clubs have confirmed.
The defender leaves Stamford Bridge for the second time, joining Arsenal for a reported fee of £8m.
David Luiz joins Arsenal: Five key things to know…
- Arsenal have been searching for a new centre-back after Laurent Koscielny’s exit.
- Deals for Dayot Upamecano and Daniele Rugani had been mooted.
- But Luiz emerged as a surprise target on Wednesday after missing Chelsea training.
- The Brazilian signed a two-year contract extension with Chelsea in May.
- No Premier League player attempted more through balls than Luiz in 2018/19.
Arsenal have been linked with several centre-backs in recent days as Laurent Koscielny secured a return to France with Ligue 1 club Bordeaux.
A shock move for Luiz emerged after potential deals for RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano and Juventus’ Daniele Rugani failed to take off.
Unai Emery worked with Luiz during his time at PSG and is looking forward to linking up with a familiar face once again, telling Arsenal’s website: “David has huge experience and I look forward to working with him again. He is a well-known player and adds to our defensive strength.”
Welcome to The Arsenal, @DavidLuiz_4 😄
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 8, 2019
Luiz will add a new dimension to Arsenal’s build-up play with his through ball ability – his 41 through balls last season were a Premier League high.
The 32-year-old played at least seven more through balls than any other player – Chelsea’s Jorginho was second with 34 – while Alexandre Lacazette topped Arsenal’s through ball chart with just 10.
This is the second time Luiz has left Chelsea after he moved to Paris Saint-Germain in 2014, returning to Stamford Bridge two years later.
An “invincible” omen?
Luiz has been given the number 23 shirt at the Emirates, with the last centre-back to wear that number for Arsenal being none other than Sol Campbell.
Some fans took this as an omen that another invincible season is on its way:
Another incoming Invincible season
— Clement A-kind (@Temitopehleb) August 8, 2019
— Oliver Twisted Iced Tea Kombucha On Tap (@Micah_Adler) August 8, 2019
While others reminded us of another classic Arsenal No. 23 and scourge of Liverpool:
Best 23 number pic.twitter.com/52h4VkQjpW
— depression (@lomachev_korn) August 8, 2019
And one fan even suggested Luiz had failed to take the No. 6 shirt vacated by Koscielny as it was being kept free for Upamecano in January:
David Luiz takes the number 23 shirt, number 6 saved for January signing, Upamecano.
— Z (@ZR_7G1) August 8, 2019