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“He is our player” Arteta breaks silence on Saliba situation as David Luiz departure is confirmed

“He is our player” Arteta breaks silence on Saliba situation as David Luiz departure is confirmed

Arteta confirms David Luiz departure

Originally, the news had broke through many avenues that David Luiz would be leaving Arsenal this summer when his contract expired.

Ahead of Arsenal’s game with Crystal Palace, Mikel Arteta confirmed the story and praised the Brazilian for his service.

He also explained how the decision was reached, saying that the pair had conversations over the past few months and arrived mutually at the conclusion.

“We had very clear talks in the last few months. We already had a big decision to make last year when we had to extend his contract in a very difficult moment during the COVID world, the pay cuts and everything,” said the Spaniard.

“He is our player” Arteta breaks silence on Saliba situation as David Luiz departure is confirmed

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 02: David Luiz of Arsenal protests towards Referee Craig Pawson after a tackle which results in a red card and a penalty during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal at Molineux on February 2, 2021 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Sam Bagnall – AMA/Getty Images)

“We managed to extend that for one more season. He’s given his best, I tried to help him as much as I possibly could, and the club did as well. After some conversations, we decided it’s the best way to do it now.

“It’s after a few conversations that we had, David and I. We discussed the situation on different occasions and the other day we made the final decision on it.”

Where Luiz will now end up is unclear. At the age of 34, and having suffered a number of injury issues at the end of the season, he may struggle to find an elite club.

There is always the possibility of a return to Benfica or a move to the MLS.

Saliba’s fate to be decided

With Luiz leaving, following Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis who left in January, there is an opening in the defence to be filled.

One man many Arsenal supporters would like to see take the place is William Saliba.

The young Frenchman has spent this second half of the season on loan at Nice since struggling at the club and featuring for the under-23s side.

WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08: William Saliba of Arsenal U21 walks off from pitch after receiving red card during the EFL Trophy match between AFC Wimbledon and Arsenal U21 at Plough Lane on December 8, 2020 in Wimbledon, England. (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 08: William Saliba of Arsenal U21 walks off from pitch after receiving red card during the EFL Trophy match between AFC Wimbledon and Arsenal U21 at Plough Lane on December 8, 2020 in Wimbledon, England. (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

Arteta was asked whether Saliba would be the man to fill the role but said that decision will be made this summer with nothing decided yet.

“That is a decision we are going to be taking in the summer. He is our player so he will be back here for sure and after that we will make the decision based on the agreement of the role he is going to play in the squad,” he said.

Arteta also confirmed, rather strangely considering talk of a squad overhaul, that he felt it’s ‘very likely’ anyone under contract would be here next season.

One which is likely to rile many Arsenal supporters hoping for big changes.

Frank Lampard reveals he has turned down offers since leaving Chelsea


This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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