One of the few mentioned elements of Arsenal’s transfer business amidst the euphoria of incomings is the loss of experience with those that left.
Six players who left – alone have 485 international caps between them and 722 Arsenal appearances. Petr Cech had the most international caps at 124, while Aaron Ramsey pushed Laurent Koscielny into second place with Arsenal appearances with 262 against 255. Others of note include David Ospina with 99 caps and 29 Arsenal appearances, Stephan Lichtsteiner with 105 and 14 respectively and Danny Welbeck at 42 and 88.
Which makes the transfer of David Luiz a no brainer with 56 international caps and 160 Chelsea appearances. This is besides his leadership skills and personality – and furthering the increasingly Brazilian influence at Arsenal.
Some clubs try and keep that sort of club and international experience inside the club – even making new roles. But on the management side there is some international and Arsenal experience coming in with Edu at 15 and 79 respectively and Freddie Ljungberg 75 and 216 – so it makes up some of the deficit.
Interesting that Luiz’s ex-manager Jose Mourinho said yesterday that the Arsenal move will help him to focus and reduce mistakes: “And I think we all know, probably I know a little bit better because I’ve coached him, that sometimes he makes mistakes, but he makes these mistakes especially when his concentration levels are low.
“And when you change to a new club and you have something to prove, I think it’s a good move for him.
“At this moment of his career to get this opportunity of a late move and stay in the Premier League at the highest level, for David, it’s a fantastic move.’
Unai Emery’s emphasis this season appears to be speed and a youth – but the best teams have a balance of youth and experience.
Some would argue that Monreal, Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette, Mkhitaryan and Papastathopoulos along with Luiz provide enough age and experience. But it remains to be seen.