As David Luiz prepares to pull the curtain on a two-year spell, it appears Arsenal already have a ready-made replacement.
Reports emerged on Friday evening claiming that David Luiz will leave Arsenal at the end of the season.
The 34-year-old had a meeting with club officials on the same day and it was decided his two-year spell in north London would end once his contract expires in June.
Luiz, head coach Mikel Arteta, and the club board reached a mutual agreement to not extend the defender’s contract. Therefore, he can seek a new team to join in the summer as a free agent.
Arsenal are still backing Mikel Arteta and he’ll stay. The club is planning with the Spanish manager about next transfers window and new signings. ⚪️🔴 #AFC
The decision to not offer David Luiz a new contract was made together between player, board and approved by Arteta. 🇧🇷
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) May 15, 2021
But while the former Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain star’s plans for next season remain unknown, Arsenal already have a ready-made solution to replace him.
According to the Mirror, William Saliba is the player that Arteta has in mind to replace Luiz for next term.
The 19-year-old is currently on loan at French club Nice after Arteta froze him out of the Gunners squad in the first half of the current campaign.
But Saliba has impressed in Ligue 1 and is expected to return to Arsenal in the summer. Arteta apparently sees ‘him as a big part of his side for next season’.
Understand that, as things stand, William Saliba will be part of the Arsenal set-up during pre-season and the start of the 2021/22 campaign.
Plans are to involve the defender in all first-team affairs when he returns from Nice. #AFC
— Mark Mann-Bryans (@MarkyMBryans) May 10, 2021
Even with Luiz set to leave, however, Arsenal still have other center-back options in Pablo Mari, Gabriel, and Rob Holding.
Despite mostly playing as full-backs, Calum Chambers and Kieran Tierney have both played in central defense this season as well.