Press conference

Arteta on... David Luiz leaving the club

It was confirmed last week that David Luiz will leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the season.

Mikel Arteta has worked closely with the Brazil international and says his influence on and off the pitch will be missed.

This is what he told the media on Tuesday:

on David Luiz leaving at the end of the season...

He is a player that has won everything in football and has earned every right to do so because of who he is as a player and as a person. I had the privilege to work with him for 18 months, which I really enjoyed. We got on really well, we had some great moments together, he has been really helpful, someone that we really like and appreciate so much, so I just say thank you to him and wish him the best of luck in his next chapter because I am sure, knowing David, that he will have many more to come as a player, and in the future, somehow related to the game.

on what David Luiz is like as a character...

When you get to know the person, his background, where he was raised in Brazil, what he's done to get to this point, it's remarkable. Then you understand a lot of these things have happened for a reason. It's not just an ability, a quality or determination, it's many other factors. I've really enjoyed learning from him. He's been very helpful every time with the team, and I feel sadness as well because you get attached to the players emotionally. First it's the player that we have to get the maximum out of, and then it's the person. When it gets to these stages, it's tough and it hurts because that relationship is now going to be going away at least in this space of not seeing him every day. Again, I have to say thank you to him.

on whose decision it was for David Luiz to leave...

We had very clear talks in the last few months. We already had a big decision to make last year when we had to extend his contract in a very difficult moment during the COVID world, the pay cuts and everything. We managed to extend that for one more season. He's given his best, I tried to help him as much as I possibly could, and the club did as well. After some conversations, we decided it's the best way to do it now.

on how the decision was reached...

It's after a few conversations that we had, David and I. We discussed the situation on different occasions and the other day we made the final decision on it.

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