Transfer Grades: Arsenal Bolster Defense with David Luiz, Kieran Tierney Signings

Written By Uttiyo Sarkar on August 8, 2019

Who: David Luiz
From Where: Chelsea
To Where: Arsenal
For How Much: £8million ($9.7M USD)
Grade For Arsenal: B
Grade For Chelsea: B+

Who: Kieran Tierney
From Where: Celtic
To Where: Arsenal
For How Much: £25million ($30M)
Grade For Arsenal: A
Grade For Celtic: C

David Luiz to Arsenal Overview

Deadline day was crazy in North London, wasn’t it? Some outrageous deals were completed throughout the Premier League. However, there aren’t many more than David Luiz moving cross-London to join arch-rivals Arsenal from Chelsea.

So Frank Lampard wasn’t convinced with the Brazilian’s ability, hence granted a sale to a desperate Arsenal. Luiz has now joined up under Unai Emery in a fluid, attack-minded system which will also complement his aggressive style.

He’s an expert when it comes to playing out from defence, shooting blazing free-kicks and emphatic headers, but questioned have questioned his defensive capabilities. Can he curb his error-prone nature for Arsenal’s benefit? The Gooners hope so.

Who Is He?

David Luiz, 32, is a Brazilian international who has enjoyed two separate stints at Chelsea. His first one was from 2011-14, while the second one started in 2016, after which he won the league.

In 160 Premier League appearances, he’s scored 11 times and helped Chelsea keep 56 clean-sheets. At his previous club, Paris Saint-Germain, he made 56 Ligue 1 appearances, also winning the league title twice.

At the international level, the Brazilian has also made 56 appearances for his national side. American fans might remember him for all the wrong reasons, as he was a major culprit in Brazil’s embarrassing 1-7 loss against Germany in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Luiz is an aggressive tackler, who tends to lose his senses on one-too-many occasions.

Kieran Tierney to Arsenal overview

Well, this deal finally gets done! Arsenal had been chasing Kieran Tierney through the entire summer window, having multiple offers rejected before finally nailing a deal with the Scottish champions.

The Celtic fans are left fuming over losing such a gem of the player. When you see his work in the field, can you really blame them? Unai Emery had been chasing Tierney for a long time and, for me, landed a future star.

What is Celtic’s loss is their gain, as Arsenal’s left-back position is finally secured with an all-round star. Tierney is a nightmare when he bombs forward down the left, but his defensive capabilities have kept men double his side quiet in recent years. The Gunnars will surely hope he keeps the Premier League wingers at bay.

Who Is He?

Tierney, 22, is a Scottish International who has been at Celtic for the past 14 years.

The Scotsman joined Celtic when he was 7 years old, eventually working up through their youth system into the senior team. He won the Scottish Treble Treble(their domestic league+cups competitions three years consecutively!) in recent years.

On the international stage, Tierney’s made 12 appearances for Scotland. He’s actually the understudy/backup to Liverpool’s Andy Robertson! Could we see a tug-of-war for a national team spot in the Premier League? You bet we can!

Tierney, at 5’10’, is a relatively smaller lad but has the heart for days to run oppositions ragged.

Are The Prices Fair?

Let’s all agree that the reported £45 million budget for Arsenal was probably the biggest myth of the summer?

After bagging in Nicolas Pepe for a club-record fee, the Gunnars have showcased an extremely shrewd nature with their next double acquisitions. At only £25million ($30M), Tierney is, to me, an absolute steal. He’s already proven to be a hard-working left-back at Celtic, but surely has his best years ahead.

It could take time for him to adapt. But once he gets accustomed to Premier League’s surroundings, he’ll not only neutralize top wingers, but also become an absolute menace down the left-wing to prove himself a steal for the reported amount.

Not so defensively agile is David Luiz. Over the years, he’s been the butt for many defensive jokes. Once he can put in a wondrous defensive performance, but follow it up with a disaster-show the next week. However, for £8million ($9.7M), which is considered cheap at this market, Luiz’s experience along with fearless factors should work in Arsenal’s favour.

What Impact Should We Expect?

After having conceded cheap goals like flies last season, there was an immediate need to solidify Arsenal’s defence. Kieran Tierney should fit into Unai Emery’s four-line or even five-man backline seamlessly because of his versatility.

The 22-year-old can operate as a full-back or a wing-back, playing to his side’s strengths after having read the situation. When necessary, he’ll sit back defensively, make crucial challenges to fend away danger. When his side needs him, he’ll race upon forward. He isn’t one-dimensional like Saed Kolasinac or Nacho Monreal, which is obviously a good thing.

The workaholic left-back still has much to learn, but is a passionate lad ready to play his heart out for the badge. Knowing Tierney’s limitless ability, I feel Emery could churn him into among Premier League’s best left-backs for the years to come.

While Tierney’s clearly a long-term buy, David Luiz is anything but one. At 32 years of age, retirement’s bound to come calling his name. However, the positive Brazilian never allows his age to wear him down, always putting in hyperactive performances to dominate proceedings.

That does lead to defensive breakdowns occasionally, but Luiz is a positive influence on the youngsters. He’s a cheery lad with a fiery attitude, tough-tackling nature and an unflinching attitude. Luiz’s positivity should cloud over his defensive vulnerabilities, while I think his leadership traits might strengthen their backbone.

The Grades:

David Luiz:

Arsenal (B)

Of course, Luiz isn’t the ideal centre-back Arsenal would’ve wanted in this window, but he’s the only one who was willing to make the jump. The Gunnars are desperate for some experience in their backline and are getting just that with the confident 32-year-old. He’ll integrate into the system seamlessly to help work the ball out their defence better. Emery just needs to pray his tendency to change games with his silly mistakes is toned down.

Chelsea (B+)

Call me nuts, but I think Chelsea are actually getting a great deal. Frank Lampard didn’t really care for a temperamental defender like Luiz. Now he can easily integrate the youngsters into his starting XI. They could be short in experience, but at least that everlasting worry off something going wrong isn’t hovering over their heads anymore.

Kieran Tierney:

Arsenal (A)

Believe me, but Kieran Tierney could end up a better buy for Arsenal than Nicolas Pepe! The left-back is packed with the potential to become something big. Looking at how Andy Robertson rose through at Liverpool, Tierney can experience a similar rise. A complete left-back with that cutting edge in his game, the Scotsman is easily the permanent left-back for the Gunnars over the next decade.

Celtic (C)

Celtic, on the other hand, obviously don’t feel so good on losing Tierney. He was a vital part in their unprecedented domination in the Scottish Premiership for years and one of their own all the way through. Producing another committed, determined asset like him is nearly impossible, as the Scottish Champions could experience left-back problems of their own now.

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Uttiyo Sarkar

An unbiased Manchester United die-hard. Lover of the beautiful game. Addicted to the Premier League and beyond. Hopeful writer in the search for the greater good.

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