Mikel Arteta has paid tribute to David Luiz and hailed his performance against Newcastle.

As per the club’s official website, Arteta praised the way Luiz dealt with playing 120 minutes after coming back from injury.

The Spaniard was impressed with the way his defender dealt with the physical threat of Andy Carroll.

The Gunners won 2-0 after extra time thanks to goals from Emile Smith Rowe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

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“He is fantastic,” Arteta said. “He is one of the leaders in the dressing room. He is one of the most experienced players, he has won everything. He is so good with the young kids. It is great to have someone like him around.

“David had a really difficult season because he had three different things that have kept him away from training and games, which is unusual for him because normally he is always available. He had to deal with that. 

 

“Then he had to play the other day [against Newcastle] after a two, two-and-a-half week period [out] – and he had to play 120 minutes! I think he was exceptional. 

“Just the way he handled the game against a difficult No 9 like Andy Carroll and to play for 120 minutes as well at his age, without much training, was a real test and I really liked what he did.”

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Arsenal will be looking to make it five wins in a row across all competitions when they face Crystal Palace tonight.

It would be a surprise if Luiz played that one, with Arteta settling on a pairing of Rob Holding and Pablo Mari in the league of late.

The issue, as ever, with Luiz is consistency. He’s capable of great performances but it never feels like he’s too far away from an error.

Arteta has overseen defensive improvement in recent weeks and Luiz can be a part of that – but perhaps not every single week.

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