What am I offered for David Luiz?
OPINION: Footballers usually wait until they’ve retired before revealing why it didn't work out for them at Arsenal, so the Brazilian defender’s words might stick in fans’ throats
24 April, 2020 — By Richard Osley
David Luiz joined the Gunners from Chelsea last summer
“WHEN I go there,” said David Luiz to ESPN Brazil, referring to his move from Chelsea to Arsenal last summer, “I know I’ll have to pay the restaurant bill without having eaten.”
I’m not 100 per cent sure, but I think that was meant to be a cuss against his own employers.
I mean there are lots of restaurants out there whose shutters are down due to the coronavirus lockdown, and who would love football’s spectacularly paid players to pay their bills even though they can give them nothing to eat in return.
But Luiz wasn’t feeling charitable.
This was his way of saying that a player of his own self-declared immense talent was going to have to do a lot of heavy lifting if the creaking Arsenal defence he was joining was going to be repaired.
As we know, of course, adding David Luiz to a malfunctioning defence is akin to trying to improve a matchday commentary team by hiring Robbie Savage; he’ll run around doing zany faces, burping nonsense and everyone will tell you what a top guy he is, but you won’t be feeling very nourished at full-time.
Truth is, Luiz hasn’t paid the restaurant bill at Arsenal. He’s walked in, stolen one chip too many from your plate and walked out again.
To gild the lily, Luiz salted his cryptic critique of his new club by suggesting that in his heart of hearts, the love pulses for Chelsea.
“It wasn’t easy at first,” he is reported to have said.
“Not only in terms of adaptation but about taking the criticism, the sadness of many Chelsea fans for not understanding my personal decisions.
“My respect and love for Chelsea has always been true.”
Usually, players at least wait until they’ve retired for at least two minutes until they start telling us why it didn’t work out for them at Arsenal.
Check the Metro’s website and you’ll find 101 stories explaining the “one reason Robin van Persie decided to leave the Gunners” and the “one regret Cesc Fabregas had after moving on”.
Luiz, perhaps wondering whether there will be any sport played ever again, seems to be ready to tell his stabbing anecdotes now.
Which brings us back to a regular campaign of this column. Every Premier League club should sell the player their fans struggle to love and throw the earnings into a coronavirus relief fund.
Luiz, a regular risk-taker in the first half of the season, would be an obvious candidate.
All of his teammates who have had their noses twisted while sleeping on the coach back from away games, waking to find him grinning like a 12-year-old, may also vote this way.
Trouble is, in the summer he cost £8 million.
The world has moved on. Like a gallon of oil, you might have to pay someone to take him away now.