Arsenal legend Michael Thomas has stressed the impact that the exit of David Luiz could have on the squad, following news from the Athletic that the defender has told the club he will leave this summer.
In our latest exclusive chat with the hero of Arsenal’s 1988-89 season, Thomas was questioned on the rumours of a massive clear out at Arsenal this summer, with the likes of Bernd Leno and long-serving academy graduate Hector Bellerin also seeing their futures questioned in speculation.
Thomas offered his thoughts to use immediately after the Luiz news broke, with the ex-midfielder ‘definitely’ feeling as though the centre-back is ‘good to have around’ the squad and club.
It’s clear that Luiz has played a massive role in the dressing room since he joined Arsenal from rivals Chelsea, as Thomas reiterated the positive impact he’s had with the talented young players.
With Luiz’s future now seemingly out of the question though, Thomas was passionate as he called for the club’s ‘culture’ and players’ ‘mentality’ to ‘change’.
Thomas believes Luiz will be a big loss, but insisted that the transfer strategy needs to change:
“Luiz is now confirmed as leaving but he is definitely one that I think is good to have around – not just for his on-field qualities but with the young players too.”
“As for every other player, if you’re not 100% committed then Arsenal football Club is not the place for them. The culture of the club needs to change and the players mentality too.”
“Bringing players in with just quality is not enough. Players have to want to win for themselves and all the fans that support them day in day out.”
The Gunners have underperformed for years and the decision to move on from the legendary Arsene Wenger has not paid off at all, with the side looking even further from returning to their former glory.
The side’s mentality has been brought into question and criticised regularly over this worrying period of time for the club, with the players clearly missing what it takes to mentally push the Gunners back.
Thomas’ comments on ‘quality’ not being enough certainly ring true when you consider some of the players that have failed at Arsenal as of late, Mikel Arteta and the recruitment team need to bring in motivated individuals that are at least going to try their best for the club’s fans.
Arsenal need to make drastic changes otherwise they’ll continue to look like a top-half side that’s best will only be good enough to land the North London outfit consistent participation in the Europa League.