Arsenal have confirmed that David Luiz could miss up to a month of football due to injury.
The Brazilian sustained a neck spasm during the Gunners’ Community Shield win over Liverpool.
He will definitely miss Arsenal’s opening day fixture against Fulham on Saturday and could be set to sit out up to five more matches after that.
The injury to the experience centre half has the potential to leave Arsenal on the precipice of yet another defensive crisis.
David Luiz on road to redemption
After a shaky return following the coronavirus pandemic, David Luiz established himself as a vital member of Mikel Arteta’s side.
The 33-year-old thrived as the team switched to a back three formation. Particular stand-out performances came in the FA Cup victories over Manchester City and Chelsea.
While the decision to extend his contract might not have been popular amongst the fanbase, he is very popular in the Arsenal dressing room.
Bukayo Saka cited how the Brazilian helped him establish himself in the first team. He can use his experience to help the Gunner’s young squad again this season.
Another defensive crisis for Arsenal?
Despite having nine centre backs on their books, Luiz’s injury leaves Arsenal with a problem in defence.
The hope was that the experienced Brazilian would be able to guide new recruits William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes through the early stages of the season.
However, with Pablo Mari, Sokratis, Calum Chambers and Shkodran Mustafi all still on the treatment table, the Gunners’ most experienced centre back option is now Rob Holding.
The 24-year-old himself only has 39 Premier League appearances under his belt. This means the club could have to field a very raw defence against Fulham on Saturday.
Aleksandar Mitrovic is a notoriously difficult centre forward to play against. Arsenal fans will hope it doesn’t damage the confidence of the new signings before their careers in North London have even really begun.
How does this impact Arsenal’s transfer business?
Arsenal are looking to offload players to help fund moves for midfielders Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar.
However, with experience at the back now at a premium, Mikel Arteta may be keen to keep hold of some of his more senior stars.
The Gunners face tricky away trips to Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City before the end of October. They will need all their Premier League know how to pick up results.
After the David Luiz injury, those games may have been more manageable. Without him it’s a real baptism of fire for Gabriel and Saliba.
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