Arsenal on transfer deadline day completed the £7million signing of David Luiz from one of their closest rivals, Chelsea. The transfer, which ended on Thursday witnessed one of the window’s biggest shock moves. Unai Emery had been chasing a central defender all summer and the Arsenal boss finally got one in the door with Luiz moving from Stamford Bridge to north London. On the other hand, Nigerian forward, Alex Iwobi has crossed over to Everton on a deal worth £35million.
The Gunners, according to Sportsmail paid £7m for Luiz, who has signed a two-year deal. The former Paris Saint-Germain defender will join his new team-mates but it is not yet known whether he will be in the squad to face Newcastle in their opening season campaign match on Sunday. The Brazilian will wear the No 23 shirt at the Emirates stadium, as the next chapter in his career begins.
Arsenal manager Unai Emery who managed Luiz at PSG said, “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.” Luiz missed Chelsea’s first-team training on Wednesday as he attempted to force through the surprising move on deadline day. Luiz has been an increasingly disruptive figure at the club’s Cobham HQ in recent days, culminating in Wednesday’s surprise development.
The Brazil defender, it is understood, did report for training but was not involved in the senior set-up casting doubt over his position at the club. Sources suggest the decision for Luiz not to train with Frank Lampard’s squad was mutual – but there were differing views from other insiders on Wednesday night who feel his omission was part of a wider plan from the defender to force through a move to the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners have been desperately chasing a new defender throughout the summer transfer window and the need for reinforcements was exacerbated by the departure of Laurent Koscielny. Arsenal have also held talks with Red Bull Leipzig for Dayot Upamecano and were said to be interested in Daniele Rugani from Juventus. It comes after Koscielny got his wish of a return to France when Arsenal secured the fee they were demanding after Bordeaux stumped up £4.6m to sign the defender.
Koscielny’s move to Bordeaux was confirmed on Tuesday afternoon following a bitter end to his Arsenal career. Meanwhile, Arsenal also completed the £25million signing of Celtic left back Kieran Tierney before the deadline. The Scotland international put pen to paper on a five-year deal with the Gunners, after being linked with the switch all summer.