David Luiz to propel Arsenal to Champions League at Chelsea’s expense
Aug. 09, 2019
I say that not because he makes my old club much stronger but because he makes Chelsea so much weaker.
I think they are already right up against it after selling Eden Hazard to Real Madrid because they relied on him immensely last season.
They’re back in the Champions League but they haven’t really been able to add players because of the transfer embargo.
Hazard has gone, and now Luiz has gone as well, and that leaves Frank Lampard short of centre backs because Antonio Rudiger is injured.
We don’t know if the young players they have there are ready yet, so I think Frank is up against right it away.
And if Chelsea lose at Manchester United this weekend the pressure will already be on him and it might not end well.
I think he’s going to find it hard. I hope he makes a success of it but with that squad, I’m not sure. You’re taking away one of the best players in the world in Hazard.
Frank will be expected to finish in the top four – but I reckon Arsenal might just sneak that last place.
Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham will be the top three. They are streets ahead of the rest. But I’m not sure about United and Chelsea.
You have to look beyond the traditional clubs as well. Can Leicester or Wolves break into the top four? Can Everton? They have signed some good players.
Luiz managed to force his way out of Chelsea on deadline day (Pic: GETTY)
If Arsenal find some consistency, it’s theirs to take. I’d be shocked if Luiz majorly improves their defending.
But he will make them entertaining. He will make mistakes. But he also has a sweet diagonal ball in him, and he can pick a pass when he wants to.
It’s his concentration levels that worry me. He likes to come and win it, but then he gets lost in a daze sometimes and doesn’t get back quick enough.
I actually like him as a central midfielder. He can pass it and if he loses concentration it’s not so costly.
It’s ironic that Arsenal have looked all over Europe for a centre back and ended up signing one right on their doorstep.
But it ticks the boxes in some ways. Luiz has plenty of experience, he’s a winner with a big personality, a leader. Arsenal don’t have those kinds of characters.
He can also go straight in without needing any time to adjust. He’s used to the league and the country. He won’t need a few weeks to settle.
I just think that if a top club is selling a player to another top club, there’s something wrong. Chelsea don’t do this deal and strengthen a rival unless something has happened.
At least Arsenal are having a go. I think Kieran Tierney is a great signing. And they spent a lot of money on Nicolas Pepe. I didn’t think Arsenal would do that kind of business.
Mane and Salah have been playing in the Africa Cup of Nations throughout the summer (Pic: GETTY)
The title is City’s to lose though. I think they will win it easily. Liverpool will probably come second.
But I worry for them when they have to have Virgil Van Dijk, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane churn out so many games. That’s a big ask.
Liverpool got to the Champions League final. Salah and Mane went to the African Nations Cup. Van Dijk went to the Nations league final. They’ve played a lot of football.
But they are going to have to play basically every game for Liverpool to win the title. If any of them get injured that’s Liverpool majorly weakened.
The addition of Rodri makes City an even more daunting prospect (Pic: GETTY)
City have got two teams. You can give them the League Cup now. They can rest Sergio Aguero for 15 games and still win the league. Could Liverpool do that with Salah? No.
I actually thought their game management was poor last season. They would be leading 2-0 or 3-0 with 20 or 30 minutes to go in a game and Van Dijk would still be out there.
Take him off. Get him a rest. Those extra 30 minutes add up over a season and you might see them start to take their toll if they don’t address that.
It’s different for City. They can kill a game in 20 minutes. Liverpool don’t have that luxury. And they don’t have the same depth either.
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