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David Luiz contract delays put defender’s Arsenal tenure in doubt

The defender could be a one-and-done at the Emirates

Arsenal Training Session Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

It appears that David Luiz’s hopes of returning to Benfica to finish his professional career could materialize faster than anticipated. Just four days are he professed his dream of returning to the Portuguese club, rumors are now emerging that a contract extension delay could see the Brazilian international leaving London this summer for free.

Joining Arsenal from Chelsea last summer for £8m, the defender initially agreed to a 1 year contract with an extension clause for an additional year if the club felt it necessary. While Luiz’s tenure at Arsenal has been something of a mixed bag, he has earned the trust in Mikel Arteta, having started all 10 matches since the former Arsenal player took over as manager.

Arsenal have until June 30th to trigger the clause, but do not seem in any particular rush to do so, which could be problematic. Letting another player go on a free when purse strings are set to tighten is increasingly problematic for the Gunners. However, the club also has to deal with contracts of several other players winding down as well. With the state of international soccer being turned on its ear, transfer dealings are going to be markedly different than in seasons past, and Arsenal are facing the potential of an exodus of sorts, as the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang could also be inching toward the exit at the Emirates.

With the recent loan of Pablo Mari, which could very well become permanent, and the upcoming inclusion of William Saliba, the Gunners will have depth at center back next season. However, can they afford to lose the veteran leadership and experience that David Luiz brings to the club?

We will continue to update as the situation as it evolves.