Icon can understand Luiz deal, Guendouzi need Vieira-type partner, double deal questioned, transfer message sent
Merson can understand Luiz deal, Guendouzi message sent, Transfer message sent, Luiz and Soares deals questioned in Arsenal roundup..
Paul Merson can ‘understand’ Arsenal’s decision to hand David Luiz a new one-year deal as the defender may be able to lend some of his experience to the younger players at the club.
Luiz has not been the most impressive player at the Emirates under the guidance of Mikel Arteta, and his performance against Manchester City just shows how unreliable he is, But that did not prevent Arsenal from handing Luiz a new contract.
But despite all the criticism over the past few days about his new deal, Arsenal legend Merson believes that Luiz has the capability to be a top performer when he’s on song and can also offer some vital words of wisdom to the young members of the squad.
‘On his day, he is a proper player and there’s no grey areas, he’s black or white,’ Merson told Sky Sports.
‘You’ve seen it at Chelsea where he’s absolutely outstanding and we’ve seen him at Arsenal where he’s been atrocious. But for me, on his day, I think he’s top draw.
If he can help the centre-halves coming through and the youngsters there with his experience, because he’s won everything in the game, I don’t think it’s a bad year.
‘I hear people saying, ‘Oh get rid of him, he makes mistakes’, of course he makes mistakes, but he might be able to help other players while he’s there.
‘The one thing I like about him is that he never goes hiding, he always keeps getting on the ball, he’s always in the thick of it and sometimes, that’s probably why he makes too many mistakes. But I can understand where Mikel Arteta is coming from.’
Lee Dixon claims Matteo Guendouzi needs a Patrick Vieira-type figure alongside him at Arsenal, with the “petulance” of youth getting the Frenchman into trouble.
There has been alot of speculation over the future of Guendouzi over the past few days as reports have suggested that he is not happy under the guidance of Mikel Arteta, with Manchester United reportedly keen on a transfer deal.
Vieira was a talismanic presence to provide inspiration from the middle of the park, and Dixon claims Guendouzi needs a Vieira-type figure alongside him at Arsenal
The Gunners great told PA Sport: “I completely agree with leaving him out. It wouldn’t have happened in my day – well, it might have happened once but it wouldn’t have happened again.
“Somebody needs to have a word with him and I’m sure Arteta has done – he wouldn’t have just left him out at Southampton and not said anything.
“There will have been a conversation and then it is about the ability of that player to take that message on board and see what he does with them.
“You don’t just do what the coach says, you listen and use your football intelligence to work out the good bits, the bad bits and what will get you to the next level.
“The next level for him is not being sat at home and watching the game on TV, it is about being in the team every week.”
The legendary former Arsenal defender added on Guenzous’s outburst: “It is not the first time we have seen a bit of petulance from him.
“He is a talented boy but, unfortunately for him, he has got his chance in a team that has not really got a lot of leaders on the pitch.
“If you picked Guendouzi out of the team now and stuck him next to Patrick Vieira, he would be a totally different player because he would be led around the pitch and told where to go.
“He almost needs to be coached both tactically and behavioural-wise from within the team group and I don’t know if that is going to happen.
“That is the problem he has got, he needs someone to grab hold of him and give him a little socially-distanced hug – sit down with him and talk to him, analyse his game with him.”
Gunners icon Ray Parlour believes it’s time for Arsenal to take some risks in the transfer market.
Arsenal are expected to delve into that transfer kitty during the summer transfer window and add a few players to the side, although their financial situation means that Mikel Arteta does not get the money he wants to get the players he wants.
But Parlour – who won three league titles and made a record 333 Premier League appearances during his Arsenal stay – says his former club must find a way of strengthening Mikel Arteta’s squad, even if it means they have to take a gamble.
“Maybe they have to take a few more risks which probably they don’t want to do but sometimes in football you’ve got to take a risk,” he told Goal.
“Because if you can get the right players in, suddenly you can turn things around and turn the club around because you can compete again with the best.
“And that’s when you can attract big players in the Champions League.”
Parlour added: “You’ve got to be clever, you’ve got to wheel and deal sometimes because Arsenal are not a club who are going to be competing with the likes of Manchester City [in the transfer market].
“Not having Champions League football is a real burden on the financial situation, that’s why it’s so important to try and get back in it as quick as possible. They had a massive chance last year in the Europa League final, if they had won that.
“Now they have to find a way somehow, I don’t know what route they take to get back there, but we’ve seen what it’s done for Spurs and that’s what Arsenal have got to try and get back to.
“But it’s not as easy as you think, it’s not simple because you are competing against good teams, even teams like Wolves now who have improved so much.
“And what happens with Newcastle if the takeover goes through? They are going to come in and say we are going to have a go at the top four. So it really is difficult to get into the Champions League now.”
Chelsea icon Joe Cole has questioned why Arsenal technical director Edu extended the contracts of David Luiz and Cedric Soares.
Arsenal have been in the transfer headlines alot over the past few days, as they took up the options to make Soares move to the Emirates a permanent one, while they have also decided to hand Luiz a new contract.
Luiz is looking like a player that is no longer good enough for the top of the game, while Soares has just been injured since his move to London in January, and Cole cannot understand why both players have been signed up.
He told BT Sport: “The one person I feel sorry for in all this is Mikel Arteta. Because he looks like a great coach and it looks like there is some kind of system he is trying to implement.
“We know David Luiz has been a top player and won everything in the game, but the performances this season, I don’t know who’s taking the decision to make him another year’s contract.
‘Arguably one of their biggest games of the season, Arteta left him out.
“For me that’s a big signal, he’s left his most experienced player out of the biggest game against Man City – and then you give him another years contract. [It’s] muddled thinking.”
Before adding: “Cedric – if you’re looking to go and compete with Liverpool and Chelsea and you go and sign a 29-year-old full-back who’s arguably not played at that level where he’s regularly competing against top sides, and you’re asking him make a difference, then giving him a four-year contract.
“If I’m an Arsenal fan, I would be asking questions of Edu and the people making these decisions. I feel sorry for Arteta because he’s got a lot of promise as a young coach.”
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