Deciding to change clubs is a difficult decision at the best of times. A player has to factor in numerous things before determining whether a switch is worth it.
Factor in that the club you’re joining is a fierce rival of your current club, and the decision becomes ten times harder.
That was a situation David Luiz had to make this summer. He had decided to leave Chelsea after a conversation with Frank Lampard made it clear he couldn’t stay. Arsenal were the club interested.
The Gunners wanted defensive improvements, and Luiz fit the bill perfectly as far as manager Unai Emery was concerned.
Ultimately Luiz decided to make a move across London, joining Arsenal in an £8m deal on deadline day of the transfer window.
He’s since become a key player at the club and says he didn’t think twice about the offer, despite that rivalry being a factor.
“It’s always very difficult because of the rivalry, but I made the decision to leave Chelsea even before receiving Arsenal’s bid,” he told UOL Sports.
“It was not a thing done together. As soon as I decided to leave Chelsea – after a few days – Arsenal’s proposal came, and as it was another great club, I didn’t think twice.
It’s hard for rivalry, yes, but I couldn’t help but live a new story, in a new place, in a big club just because of it.
“I want to be in world football at a high level, and for that, you have to play in big clubs.”
One of the issues Luiz had to take into consideration was Arsenal missing out on the Champions League this season.
The Gunners finished fifth in the Premier League last season, missing out that way, while defeat in the Europa League meant another year in UEFA’s secondary competition.
Luiz, though, says he isn’t bothered about that, he wants to focus on winning regardless of the competition he’s in.
“As I said, it was not a decision taken together, it was a decision made later,” he added.
“God was very good to me because I’ve had the chance to win both the Champions League and the Europa League.
“Whatever the competition, wherever I am, I will always try to come in to win, so whether it is the Champions or the Europa League, my goal is always to give my best in every competition.”