Gianfranco Zola has told BeINSports that Chelsea could rue the decision to sell David Luiz to Arsenal, and reckons there may have been some unrest behind the scenes in order for the Brazilian to leave.
Luiz, 32, left Chelsea after three years in his second spell at Stamford Bridge to move across London in a sensational move that has seen the Brazilian join one of Chelsea’s biggest rivals in Unai Emery’s Gunners.
Arsenal have paid just £8million for the ex-Paris Saint-Germain defender, with the north Londoners desperately in need of a central defender this summer. Luiz was an unused substitute on Sunday as the Gunners won 1-0.
Former Chelsea assistant manager and Blues legend Zola was asked about Luiz and his reaction to the defender’s move to Arsenal, and reckons that something must have happened in the changing room.
“It is good business for Arsenal,” Zola said. “They gave acquired a player with a lot of personality, a lot of influence. It will be very beneficial for them. Defending is not his best ability, he is more of a midfielder.
“When he is focused, he is good at defending. But it is not his best quality. But Luiz is exactly the type of player Arsenal needed. My first reaction [for Luiz to leave] is that something must have happened in the changing room.
“I couldn’t see him leaving the club.”
TBR’s view – 4-0 loss to Man United highlights Chelsea loss
Kurt Zouma’s display at centre-back for Chelsea against Manchester United on Sunday afternoon has highlighted just how important Luiz’s influence and experience was to the Blues.
Chelsea now lack an experienced centre-back. Gary Cahill also left, joining Crystal Palace. It leaves Chelsea with Kurt Zouma, Andreas Christiansen, Antonio Rudiger and Fikayo Tomori – all of which are 26 or younger.
Keeping Luiz was crucial, but Zola may be right in saying something has happened in the changing rooms.